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No Wake Zone Expanded For Safety At Sunset Marina

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
No Wake Zone Expanded For Safety At Sunset Marina

TWRA Boating Enforcement has extended the no-wake zone at Sunset Marina after dangerous incidents there last summer.

Marina General Manager Tom Allen said the TWRA conducted a boat traffic and safety study last July. He said during the busy season this year, the entire length of the harbor will be a no-wake zone. Allen said he sees this as a major safety improvement.

“The waterways have so many different user groups and everybody wants to use the waterways in the form and nature that they appreciate,” Allen said. “Unfortunately, not every boat owner or every user of our waterways respects the other users enough.”

Allen said when boats were allowed to freely speed through the harbor, there were instances of people being thrown from the docks due to especially large wakes. He said newer boats are getting bigger and faster, leading to a need for increased safety measures.

“I know one family reported a small child had been thrown from a dock and got wedged between a houseboat and the dock, and had to be pulled out,” Allen said. “Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, but the families and especially the parents were extremely worried about what could have happened had they not been there to save the young person.”

Allen said there have been other reports of minor injuries, but thankfully nothing major. He said he expects some people will be glad to have a safer lake environment, while others will likely see it as an inconvenience.

“If you’re blessed enough to be at the lake, you shouldn’t be in a hurry,” Allen said. “Because we all get in too big a hurry in our daily lives and our jobs and out on the streets and the roads. It seems like the lake should be a place you can come and relax and slow down and respect everybody’s safety.”

He said between mid-September and May, the no-wake extension will be lifted, as the area is used mainly by smaller boats for fishing during the fall and winter.


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