2014 Boating Season Kicks Off With Memorial Day Holiday Weekend

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Memorial Day holiday weekend is regarded as the unofficial start to the summer boating season and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets while boating in a safe and responsible manner.

Annually, the Memorial Day weekend is one of the year’s busiest boating weekends. Last year over the holiday weekend, there were no boating fatalities for the third consecutive year.

There were eight total reported boating accidents for the second straight year in 2013. Three of the accidents resulted in injuries and the other five were property damage accidents.

TWRA officers made 11 boating under the influence (BUI) statewide arrests last year. The BUI arrests were a decrease of 11 from 2012 Memorial Day weekend.

In 2014, there have been six boating-related fatalities, 10 serious injury accidents, and 13 property damage incidents in Tennessee. There were nine fatalities at this time last year.

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 under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Tennessee.

For many Tennesseans, the Memorial Day weekend will be the first time to have the boat on the water this year.

TWRA officials say taking a few minutes to check some of the boat components may be the key to having a nice, safe day. Merely performing a simple maintenance check before getting on the water may prevent problems. Check hoses to make sure they are in good shape. Check spark plugs and be sure to use UL marine grade plugs.  Make sure the lights work and carry extra fuses and bulbs.

In addition, TWRA urges all boaters to remember the basics:

*have a wearable life jacket for every person onboard

*if your boat is 16 feet or longer, there must be a Type IV throwable device onboard

*have onboard a fire extinguisher if you have enclosed fuel compartments or cabins

*anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket at all times while the boat is underway – drifting is considered underway

*any boat operator born after Jan. 1, 1989, must have onboard the TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate

*keep alcohol to a minimum–choose a designated boat operator

*make sure there is a current boat registration

Boat Operation Basics:

*keep a proper lookout at all times

*maintain a safe speed

*practice good seasmanship

*cut the engine while boarding from the water or entering the water from the boat

*be aware of the carbon monoxide hazards that exist and keep fresh air flowing

*no wake means idle speed

*take a boating safety course – log onto www.tnwildlife.org for information.


2016-17 TWRA Winter Trout Stocking Is Underway

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced its 2016-17 winter trout stocking schedule. TWRA plans to release approximately 90,000 rainbow trout into Tennessee waters from December through March. The program provides numerous close to home trout fishing opportunities for anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also provide a great opportunity to introduce ... (click for more)

2017 Spring Turkey Quota Hunts Application Period Runs Dec. 14-Jan. 18

The application period for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 2017 Spring Turkey Quota Hunts runs from Dec. 14 through Jan. 18, 2017. Applications are available and will be accepted at any TWRA license agent, TWRA regional office, or online at the TWRA website. Applications can be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (CST) on Jan. 18. Mailed applications will not be accepted. ... (click for more)

City Administrator Lurone Jennings Suspended For Misallocation Of Funds

Rev. Lurone Jennings, administrator of City Youth and Family Development, has been suspended for one week for misallocation of funds. He also is to be issued a letter of reprimand and will undergo ethics training. The action came after a critical audit report from City Auditor Stan Sewell. It says Mr. Jennings transferred $18,500 of funds to a program, Journey Educational ... (click for more)

New Walker County Commissioner Whitfield To Move Public Meetings To Evenings And To Larger Venue; Will Also Be Listening Sessions

Walker County Sole Commissioner-Elect Shannon Whitfield said there will be a new arrangement for holding of public commissioner sessions when he takes place at the start of January. Current Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has held Thursday meetings at 3:30 p.m. from time to time in a conference room at her office near the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette. Mr. Whitfield said those ... (click for more)

Roy Couldn't Possibly Be More Wrong - And Response (5)

Spreading false information isn't only harmful, as we've been made aware recently. The spread of false information can be outright dangerous.   Calling himself a Christian and all, Roy truly disappoints on so many levels with his recently opinion piece about black students attending predominately white schools being the cause of so much problems and grief at those schools. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Facebook Starlet

The Pants Store, a toney women’s boutique in Birmingham’s Mountain Book community, held its annual Holiday Open House about a week or so and, as usual, the popular store was full of customers and holiday cheer. It was a festive gathering, fun for all, but as store employees cleaned up for the next day, they happened across an empty designer-shoe box and a brassiere somebody had ... (click for more)