NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are getting ready for the final major weekend of the 2021 summer boating season — Labor Day weekend.
With Labor Day coming up, officers are reminding boaters to wear their life jackets and go boating "in a safe and responsible manner."
“There is going to be a lot of people on the water. You might have to slow down…wait your turn to get into a marina, or going underneath a bridge,” said District 21 Sgt. Matt Brian of TWRA.
As of Thursday on Tennessee waters, there have been 17 boating-related fatalities this year. Officials said there were 22 boating-related fatalities at the same time last year.
TWRA officers will be on the lookout for reckless boating behavior such as boating under the influence.
“We do work hard on the water. Sometimes it does mean issuing citations or stopping a lot of people, but at the end of the day if it keeps everybody safe that is our main goal,” said Sgt. Brian.
TWRA reminded anyone 12 years old and under must wear a life jacket while on the water. Plus, a life jacket for each boater must be on each boat and on each paddle craft.
“TWRA wildlife officers have seen a significant increase in the use of paddle craft the past several years. 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," said TWRA Boating Education coordinator Betsy Woods.