Sunday, June 26, 2022
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Make Sure Safety Equipment Is Up-To-Date Before Boating Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend marks the return of the summer boating season for many in the Upper Cumberland.

TWRA Wildlife Sergeant Dustin Buttram said that before you take to the waters, you should have a plan in place to avoid one of the biggest boating dangers: alcohol impairment.

“That’s one of the leading causes of accidents, is alcohol-related incidents,” Buttram said. “So we encourage everyone to have a sober operator, a designated driver for the day. So that’s probably the number one hazard that we see.”

Buttram said that a lot of times for the first holiday weekend people are too eager to get to the lake without taking proper steps to make sure the boat runs properly. He said that boats should be properly equipped with up-to-date safety equipment and perform a pre-launch check.

Buttram said that it’s also important to be aware of your surroundings. He said that knowing the waterways and preparing for the weather are two easy ways to prevent accidents.

“This time of year we’re having a lot of pop-up storms so make sure that you’re up to date on that and that there won’t be severe storms that pop up in the evening,” Buttram said. “If that happens we usually see a rush of people trying to get to the docks and that can create really rough water (…) And know the waterway. If you’re new to boating or going to a new reservoir or a new lake, find out where the hazards are, where the shallow water is. Just find out what you need to know about that waterway before you take off on a boat all day. Be prepared for it.”

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