TWRA promoting boating safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend - WSMV Channel 4

TWRA promoting boating safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

We're just a week away from Memorial Day weekend, also known as the unofficial start to “lake season.”

Seven people have died on Tennessee waterways so far this year---and boating officials say many of these deaths could have been prevented with the right safety precautions in mind. 

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants everyone to have a good time out on the water, but they also want folks to make it back home at the end of the day.

TWRA boating officer Josh Landrum says he and other officers are scouring the water state-wide for offenders.

“Looking for impaired drivers that might be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” says Landrum. “Alcohol is typically involved in a lot of our boating serious-injury accidents and fatalities.”

No matter how good of a swimmer you think you are, Landrum can't stress enough the importance of wearing a life jacket.

“Anytime you come out here, you're required by law to have enough life jackets on your vessel for how many people are in your vessel,” Landrum explains.

He says people need to be prepared for the unknown.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of boats out here. It can be a very dangerous situation if people aren't aware of their surroundings,” he says. 

“Percy Priest [Lake] doesn't have very many channel markers. There are rock buoys that mark unsafe areas, shallow areas of the water.”

When it comes to weather, Landrum says don't chance it. This time of year, it can change quickly and drastically.

Download the 4-Warn Weather to keep an eye on weather radar, so you always have enough time to get back to shore and stay safe. 

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