By TODD GLASSCOCK
POSSUM KINGDOM – With an anticipated 10,000 or more people and their boats jamming into Possum Kingdom’s Hell’s Gate Cove for Saturday’s Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competition, the Brazos River Authority and Texas Parks and Wildlife will keep alert to crowd safety.
The BRA and the wildlife department will monitor boats and boaters to keep the cove safe for the competition, said Matt Phillips, river authority spokesman. With so many boats and spectators coming to the lake, people will have to be vigilant about their safety.
“Be careful,” he said, “observe speed and don’t drink and boat.”
One frequently asked question he’s heard has been, “Can we get in the water?” Boaters can get out of their boats and into the water, but Phillips said it probably wouldn’t be wise to do so.
He said the heavy boat traffic will likely create high wakes dangerous to those floating or swimming in the water. Boat propellers as well as emissions also present potential hazards to those in the water.
As far as boaters coming in to watch the divers at Hell’s Gate, the only limit to the amount of boats allowed will be based largely on the size of the boats, Phillips said. The BRA and Texas Wildlife will monitor the how many and how big the boats are coming into the cove; if it appears to be getting jammed up, they will begin to turn people away.
The BRA has set up a frequently asked questions page on their website about parking and availability of boat ramps, he said.
Additionally, the BRA said all boaters must observe Texas boating laws while visiting the lake. A detailed description of laws is available at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website under boating.