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Safe Boating Week This Week

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, families and friends may choose to spend time on the lake.

Safe Boating Week reminds boaters to stay safe on the water while still enjoying the kick off to summer.

Sometimes boaters are not aware of their surrounding once they hit the lake. Edgar Evins State Park Manager Brad Halfacre said that is one of the biggest boating errors.

“The boating operation kinda can take a second hand to what the fun that they’re wanting to have,” Halfacre said. “That kinda plays out just obeying the ‘no wade zones,’ watching for your shallow water buoys, and (real important) making sure you have a life jacket for everyone on your boat, and wearing that life jacket.”

Other safety tips include: knowing how to properly operate your vessel, taking a TWRA safety boating course, and understanding all safety switches on the boat. Halfacre said to hook your kill switch to your life jacket, it will safely kill the motor if a passenger falls out the boat.

Halfacre said children 12 and younger must wear a life jacket the entire time, and adults should too.

“If you get thrown out of a boat and you don’t have the life jacket on, it’s very hard to put a life jacket on in the water,” Halfacre said. “It’s just a great time to look at your boat. Check to make sure you have all the safety things inside the boat. Fire extinguishers, paddles, and your throw cushion.”

A few boating accidents at Center Hill Lake happened last year. Halfacre said over the years about 112 people drowned in the lake, and one wore a life jacket.

“Accidents can still happen when you’re wearing a life jacket, but I’ll take those numbers any day wearing a life jacket,” Halfacre said. “It’s been proven on the lake, wearing a life jacket can save your life in an accident like that.”

Every year Safe Boating Week is before Memorial Day.


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