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(WBIR) For many people, Memorial Day Weekend will be the first time they take their boats out on the lake.

Before heading out on the water, boaters need to make sure they've got all the proper safety equipment. State wildlife officials said each boat must have enough life jackets for every person on board, as well as the proper documentation.

Children under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket at all times on the boat. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers will be out in full force over the weekend, patrolling the waters.

"We figured out that if we keep people in boats for one thing - and in life jackets - that we can save most people in boating accidents," said TWRA officer Matt Cameron. "We've had about six fatalities already this year. And in most of those (accidents), if the person had been wearing their life jacket, they would still be with us."

TWRA officers will be checking to make sure boat drivers are driving safely and not drinking and driving. Officers have the authority to arrest any impaired drivers.

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