Extra TWRA patrols out for Memorial Day weekend

Extra TWRA patrols out for Memorial Day weekend

Posted:
Memorial Day weekend means a lot of people will be out boating, but Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers say that also leaves room for potential accidents. Memorial Day weekend means a lot of people will be out boating, but Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers say that also leaves room for potential accidents.
TWRA officers say a good number of boating accidents involve drowning with people not wearing life jackets. They're required by law only for children, but alcohol is by far the number one reason for deadly situations. TWRA officers say a good number of boating accidents involve drowning with people not wearing life jackets. They're required by law only for children, but alcohol is by far the number one reason for deadly situations.
The state of Tennessee does not require people to have a boater's license. Instead, those born after January 1, 1989, are required to have a boating safety certificate. The state of Tennessee does not require people to have a boater's license. Instead, those born after January 1, 1989, are required to have a boating safety certificate.
By CAMERON TAYLOR
6 News Reporter

DOUGLAS LAKE (WATE) - Memorial Day weekend means a lot of people will be out boating, but Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers say that also leaves room for potential accidents.

They'll be out patrolling the waterways in East Tennessee like Douglas Lake starting Friday up until Monday.

David Walker considers himself an expert on the water. He says being on a boat has become his second home. 

"I've been on a boat ever since I was old enough to crawl in a boat. matter of fact, I'm 49 years old and I've been around boating my entire life," said Walker. 

Walker says he takes all the necessary precautions when going out on the water. He believes life jackets make a difference in scary situations.

"For me, little kids that are falling into the lake maybe not know how to swim. That's probably the biggest danger that there is when it comes to being out on a lake and boating," said Walker.

TWRA officers say a good number of boating accidents involve drowning with people not wearing life jackets. They're required by law only for children, but alcohol is by far the number one reason for deadly situations. 

"People that would never drink and drive a car will sometimes get behind the wheel of a boat and drink and they don't consider it to be that big of a danger," said Matt Cameron of the TWRA. 

Others say they're concerned about the rest of the boaters on the waters not following the law.

"The only thing I've seen a few people that has really gone too fast for the amount of people that was in a boat and that's about what scares me," said Loretta Brown of Sevierville.

Boaters like Walker say their biggest safety tip is to have a plan and be aware of your surroundings.

"Old, young, everybody likes to go out and be on the water. Just be out there and like I said use common sense and everybody's going to have a great time," said Walker.

The state of Tennessee does not require people to have a boater's license. Instead, those born after January 1, 1989, are required to have a boating safety certificate.

Nationally, the number of boating accidents involving alcohol is down about 30 percent compared to last year.


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