Boaters look for calmer waters by jet skis

(WBIR) A group of East Tennessee boaters are asking their fellow water sportsman to be extra careful after what they call several "close calls" on the lakes.

It's a battle of futility for some boaters.

Finding the happy medium of who can use their wake and where.

"The lake belongs to everybody, that's not what we are saying. We just want a little common courtesy and a little common sense," said boater Bob Schmidt.

Schmidt and Tom Clark park their boats in coves around Tellico Lake. And they say he has seen his fair share of people on waverunners, and on wake board boats creating a large wake in calmer areas.

"The little ones, we know we can handle. It's the bigger one's that are close to us, and are full rise that throws wakes together. That's the problem," said Clark.

Schmidt said these wakes can be a disturbance, but also could be an issue if something or someone is harmed.

"Any damage to our boats, on the gel coat, rails, people falling down, they are responsible," said Schmidt.

There's no age limit to get behind the wheel, but anyone driving any watercraft born after January 1st of 1989 must have a boaters safety certificate. It's something TWRA will check for. Personal Watercrafts are a big part of some East Tennessee residents' lives.

"I started riding wave runners when I was a lot younger than I am now. Like when I was six or seven maybe," said Clay Lockett.

Lockett is 16 now. He rode along with his father until he was 13.

Now, he rides alone and wants to break the stereotype of wild operating with younger drivers. He is doing this through safety he has learned over the years.

"Treat it just like you're driving a vehicle on the road or like a ginormous boat. Treat it like it is just as dangerous as anything else because it is. You can hurt people and hurt yourself," said Lockett.

As for Schmidt and Clark, they still plan to hit the coves.

"Just be aware that there are other people out on this water. There are a lot of people out. Lake fun. It's what we do. It's what I have done my adult life," said Clark.

Sharing the lake and finding their calmer waters.

For a list of other codes and rules for the state of Tennessee, you can access a search database here. For rules about operating a watercraft, you can find the information here.


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