TWRA encourages safety courses after 2020 saw most boating fatalities in decades


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – After Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reported that 2020 saw the most boating-related deaths in 37 years, wildlife officers are encouraging everyone to take a boating safety course.

The TWRA said 32 people died in boating incidents last year, up from a record-low 8 boating-related deaths in 2019.

TWRA spokesperson Matt Cameron said the statistic should make people open their eyes.

“The last thing we think about out for a day on the water is getting seriously injured or killed,” Cameron said. “I don’t think it’s anything to do with the lack of officer presence or enforcement. I wonder if its maybe an educational issue. Maybe we need to get boaters educated because the law only applies to those born after January 1, 1989.”

For more information on boating education in Tennesse, visit

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