TWRA offers boating safety advice for holiday weekend

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JACKSON, Tenn. — With boaters hitting the water this holiday weekend, officials are urging everyone to take precautions to make the lakes and rivers safe for everyone. The main cause of accidents on the water is inattention, according to officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Being aware of others on the water, not drinking and boating, having required safety equipment and watching for bad weather are some of the primary safety tips offered by the TWRA. “Be aware of everybody around you,” said Maj. Brian Thompson, TWRA Region 1 law enforcement coordinator. “Watch out for the other people. Don’t expect that they see you. Make sure that you see them and you do whatever you can to avoid collision.” There must be a life jacket for every person in the boat, and children 12 and younger must wear a life vest when the boat is underway. Thompson also says boaters should make their way to shore when they see bad weather approaching. If you’re a veteran, state parks including Natchez Trace and Pickwick Landing are offering free boat rentals July 4. Proof of prior military duty, including an ID card, DD214 or veterans benefit card is required. The offer is for non-motorized boats only, including canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and pedal boats. Boats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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