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.


TWRA Officers Concerned For Paddle Sport Safety

TWRA boating officers Dustin Buttram and Barry Baird have seen an increase in paddle sports on the Tennessee waterways they patrol. Paddle crafts are for rent at many reservoirs and public areas and it’s a fun way to enjoy the outdoors. However many paddling for the first time go out unprepared. With four paddle craft fatalities in 2016, officers hope to reduce this in 2017. ... (click for more)

Ernest Lee Wade, 59, Dies In Kayaking Accident On The Collins River

Ernest Lee Wade, 59, from Warren County, lost his life while kayaking on the Collins River on Sunday, June 25. Mr. Wade was a resident of McMinnville.   Mr. Wade and Treyton R. Gritzinger, also from McMinnville, departed on a kayak trip from the Shellsford access area around  8 a.m.  on Sunday. After a half hour or so on the water, Mr. Gritzinger witnessed ... (click for more)

3 People Shot At Citgo On Glenwood Drive; 1 Dies; D'Kobe Jordan, 19, Arrested On Multiple Charges

Three people were shot at a convenience store in Glenwood on Monday afternoon. One later died after being rushed to the hospital.  The incident happened around 2:40 p.m. at the Citgo at 101 Glenwood Dr. Chattanooga Police were dispatched to the 100 block of Glenwood Drive in reference to a person shot. Upon arrival, officers located Dangelo Marshall, 20,  suffering ... (click for more)

Erlanger Pharmacies Sold To CVS For $10 Million; Units At East, North To Close

Retail pharmacies at Erlanger Health System are being sold to CVS for $10 million, officials said. The retail drug stores at Erlanger North in Red Bank and Erlanger East on Gunbarrel Road will close. Erlanger President Kevin Spiegel noted that CVS has its own pharmacies nearby those facilities. CVS will operate a pharmacy at the Medical Mall on the main Erlanger campus on ... (click for more)

Dennis Norwood: Through The Lens, My Early 4th Of July

Our wonderful nation’s birthday, the 4th of July, came early for me this year. Always one of my favorite holidays, perhaps it’s tied to that fact that my birthday is on Flag Day, this year’s early observance was extra special. The day was this past Sunday, June 25, and it came about as my wife and I attended a concert by our very favorite Christian artist, Sandi Patty, at Abba’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: California’s Foolishness

Over the weekend Hillary Clinton, the first runner-up in the latest presidential election, tweeted, “Forget death panels. If Republicans pass this (health) bill, they're the death party.” It was also being seriously debated if the psychotic action of the gunman who shot Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise was due to the repugnant rhetoric being increasingly spewed by other liberals. Great ... (click for more)