September 3, 2020
By: Dwayne Page
The Labor Day holiday, the final major weekend of the 2020 summer boating season, is Sept. 5-7. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets while boating in a safe and responsible manner.
The TWRA wants all those who visit the waterways to have an enjoyable time. However, TWRA officers will be on the watch for dangerous boating behavior, such as boating under the influence (BUI) and other reckless operation.
The TWRA has seen a large increase in paddle craft activity throughout the state. Boating officers report seeing an increase on rivers and streams, and on reservoirs.
“Paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks are recreational vessels and shouldn’t be treated as toys,” said Cpt. Matt Majors, TWRA Boating Investigator. “Boaters should have the proper life jackets and wear them. It is important to stay away from swollen creeks and rivers as the waters can be hazardous to novice boaters.”
To date in 2020 on Tennessee waters, there have been 22 boating-related fatalities, an increase of 16 from the same time last year. There have been 49 incidents resulting in 65 people injured and 70 property damage incidents.