TWRA emphasizes use of life jackets
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 10:38 pm
NASHVILLE — The final major weekend of the 2010 summer boating season is here with the Labor Day holiday and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets while boating in a safe and responsible manner.
Wearing a life jacket is the single most effective way to protect boaters and reduce drowning in boating accidents. Eighty percent of those who drown in boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.
So far in 2010 on Tennessee waters, there have been 158 accidents and 18 fatalities. TWRA boating officers have made 146 boating under the influence arrests. Heading into the Labor Day holiday period in 2009, there were 128 accidents with 13 fatalities and 135 BUI arrests.
Last year, over the Labor Day holiday, there were two boating-related fatalities and nine total boat accidents. TWRA boating officers made six boating BUI arrests over the weekend.
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 BUI and other reckless operation.
Along with the use of life jackets, TWRA wants to stress the responsible use of alcohol while boating. It is important to consider the effects of drinking and driving whether on water or land. In a boat on the water, the effects of alcohol increase because of external stressors such as engine vibration, wave motion and glare from the sun. Operating a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or higher is illegal in Tennessee, the same as operating a motor vehicle.
Published in The Messenger 9.3.10