The Labor Day holiday, the final major weekend of the 2021 summer boating season is Sept. 4-6. 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.
All children age 12 and under onboard must wear a life jacket. In addition, there must be a life jacket onboard the vessel for each person.
“TWRA wildlife officers have seen a significant increase in the use of paddlecraft the past several years,” said Betsy Woods, TWRA Boating Education coordinator. “Kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards are great ways to enjoy the water, but because they are so low profile, it’s easy to take a tumble into the water.”
Life jackets are required on paddlecraft and if a person is age 12 or younger, then the life jacket must be worn. The TWRA always encourages the use of life jackets.
To date in 2021 on Tennessee waters, there have been 17 boating-related fatalities, a decrease from the 22 from the same time last year.