Beware Of Deer, TWRA Ensures Boat Safety

Posted at 3:09 PM, Jul 04, 2017

You may not realize it but humans aren't the only things boaters can hit while riding on a lake.

Officer Kaleb Stratton with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said animals like squirrels and deer can be found swimming and could be struck if the boater does not pay attention.

"You wouldn't think you have to watch out for deer when you're out on the lake. It looks like they're walking on the water but they're not, they're actually swimming," Ofc. Stratton told NewsChannel 5.

It's just one of many reasons why the TWRA continues to address boat safety throughout the year. Stratton advised boaters to always be on the look out and know exactly where the boat's life-saving equipment is located. 

Over the Fourth of July weekend, TWRA has conducted its "Operation Dry Water" to enforce safety guidelines and the law. 

The DUI enforcement program helped arrest four boaters driving under the influence, more than last year, according to Stratton. 

"Being on the water is a lot more dangerous than being out on the road," Stratton added. 

Weather is a possible reason behind the number of BUI's, and has also been the indicator behind six water rescues on Percy Priest Lake on Saturday. 

"We had a big storm," Stratton recalled. "The waves were getting bigger, kayaks were flipping over and canoes were sinking."

Stratton said there have been three boat-related deaths on Percy Priest Lake this year. All could have been prevented by wearing a life jacket. 

"People underestimate the weather when out on the canoes and kayaks but it's better to stay safe with a life jacket" said Stratton. 

Canoes and kayaks are required to have some sort of electronic lights when riding at night. 

"We are not out here to ruin days we are just out here to make sure everyone stays safe," Stratton emphasized.