NASHVILLE – Labor Day, the last major weekend of the 2021 summer boating season, is September 4-6. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets when boating in a safe and responsible manner.
TWRA wants everyone who uses the waterways to have a good time. However, TWRA officers will be on the lookout for unsafe boating behavior, such as boating under the influence (BUI) and other reckless operations.
All children 12 and under on board must wear a life jacket. In addition, there must be a life jacket on board the vessel for each person.
“TWRA wildlife officers have seen a significant increase in the use of paddle boats over the past few years,” said Betsy Woods, TWRA Boating Training Coordinator. “Kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards are great ways to enjoy the water, but because they’re so discreet, it’s easy to dive into the water.”
Life jackets are mandatory on paddle steamers and if a person is 12 years of age or younger, the life jacket must be worn. The TWRA still encourages the use of life jackets.
To date in 2021 on Tennessee waters, there have been 17 boating-related fatalities, a decrease from 22 at the same time last year.