KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The long holiday weekend has now kicked off. Many people are taking advantage of the time to hit the water.
The Labor Day holiday is often seen as the final major weekend of the summer boating season. That means the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be on watch for dangerous boating behavior.
“We expect to see more boaters at the ramps, more at the marinas, more on the lake,” said TWRA officer Jeff Roberson.
Officers gave tips reminding everyone how they can stay safe on the water.
“Check your boat before you ever even enter the water, make sure you have all the proper safety equipment. A life jacket for each person on board, a working fire extinguisher, if your children are 12 or under they need to be wearing a life jacket all the time,” said Roberson.
Once this weekend passes, TWRA expects boating across the state to slow down. However, that’s not the case along the Knoxville waterfront.
“We actually get busier. Every weekend there’s a home game, you’re going to see a lot of boats and a lot of officers,” Roberson said.
“It’s like having a gameday condo right on the water,” said boater Paul Kelly. He parks his boat near Neyland Stadium as part of the Vol Navy. “Everybody is just going to be in a good festive mood and having a good time.”
While fans are hoping for a win on Saturday, officers are hoping everyone stays safe.
“We want people to come out and have a great time, have fun on the lake, but we want you to be safe doing so,” said Roberson.
One thing officers will be looking for is boating under the influence. They say that one drink on the water is equivalent to drinking three on land. TWRA says it’s vital to have a designated driver if you plan on drinking.