Bon Voyage: Boating safety tips from TWRA

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — It’s time to start soaking up the summer sun out on the lakes.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to make sure everyone stays safe while on the water.

“Mainly, a life jacket for everyone on board, one that fits them. It’s got to be the proper size,” Nick Luper, TWRA District 12 Boating Officer, said.

One of the biggest mistakes they see is people not updating their boating registration.

Officers also want you to have other safety measures on the boat that could help others.

“We ask you put a fire extinguisher on your boat, in case there’s a fire on your boat or someone else’s, you can assist them,” Luper said.

Last year, the TWRA had 74 boating under the influence cases.

“If we find someone who is consuming alcohol and has had too much, you will go to jail,” Luper said.

It’s not just things above the water you need to be aware of — there are dangers under the water too.

“We don’t want you doing any diving off the boat. We don’t know what’s under the water, especially in our lakes and rivers around here,” Luper said.

The propeller on the boat is one of the most dangerous things on the water.

“Just one wave they can hit, they can fall off the back, the boat can run right over them, including that prop,” Luper said.

If you plan to swim or just float in the water, officers say it’s best to still wear a life jacket.

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