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TWRA Cracks Down On Boating Safety

Posted at 6:46 PM, May 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-30 20:04:15-04

On Memorial Day weekend, Tennessee Wildlife Resource officers pulled people over to make sure had life jackets in the boat in order to stay safe.

Within 2016, there have been five drowning deaths at Tennessee lakes, two of which were at Percy Priest and the victims weren't wearing life jackets.

Becky Shanklin said, "Neither of us are strong swimmers so we make sure we keep our life jackets on and just look out for each other!"

Shanklin said she's not the best around the water, but she's meeting Scott Linville who knows this lake well.

Linville said, "One I make sure I don't drink too much. Limit my alcohol intake to maybe one or two beers. Two I check my surroundings to make sure I don't see any drunk motorists in the water or that I'm not gonna run ashore, and watch my depth."

Tennessee Wildlife Resource Officer Kaleb Stratton said they are alerting boaters to another danger as well.

Kaleb Stratton said, "There's been a couple of minor boat accidents. The lake level is down about 3 feet right now so there's a lot of rocks right under the water and we've had a lot of people hit those... The bottom of it has a lot of rocks and that's why it's so dangerous. We have a lot of rock buoys set out."

Dan Smith said he's been boating on Percy Priest for 10-15 years. And when the water gets low, that's when he sees accidents.

Smith said, "There are spots where it's extremely shallow. Know your waterways know you channel and wear your life jacket."