Boat Season means that the TWRA is watching you
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The unofficial start to summer is this weekend — and for many that means it’s time to get out on the water.
But there are a few things you need to know before you start your boating adventure.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency manages and maintains all activity on the Tennessee Valley’s waters.
Memorial Day weekend is one of their busiest weekends of the year, as people from all over the South come to vacation on our lakes and rivers.
And one of the TWRA’s biggest concerns is keeping boaters safe.
“Our sole purpose in doing any type of media outreach is to stop any accident possible. We can’t stop them all, but that is our goal, to prevent accidents.”
TWRA officers will be patrolling the water all weekend.
“Their job isn’t to stop people from having fun. They don’t want to stop people from having fun. But they do want to keep people safe while they’re having fun.”
Wildlife officers say it’s best to remember five things to keep compliant on the waters. Most importantly, use proper safety equipment and have a designated sober driver.
“There are a lot of incidents that happen on Tennessee waters every year, and the majority of those are avoidable if people had not been under the influence of alcohol or if they had been wearing a life jacket. So those two things are very important in getting our message out.”
Children 12 and under are required by law to wear a life jacket at all times.
Officials also say use your navigation lights after sunset, mind the buoys and watch the weather.
“You need to mind yourself when you’re driving your boat. Keep a proper lookout and just be smart.”