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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants boaters to be safe this Memorial Day weekend

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - This week is National Boating Week and many people will be heading to the lake to enjoy the water and some sun this weekend for the Memorial Day holiday.

National Boating Week was established to raise awareness about the importance of wearing life jackets and to prevent accidents on the water. This week serves as an unofficial start to the summer boating season.

“And number 1 is wearing a lifejacket. 83 percent of the people that die in boating accidents were not wearing a lifejacket and drowned. So, it’s also boaters’ responsibility to know the laws and have a wearable lifejacket for everyone in the boat,” said Amy Snider-Spencer, the Region 1 Communications and Outreach with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Amy also says kids under the age of 12 must wear a lifejacket at all times while on the boat unless it is anchored. The agency also wants to remind people to not use alcohol or drugs while operating a boat.

“We also need to remind people to avoid alcohol and drugs. We want you to have a good time on the water. We want you to have fun, but we need to remind you that you need to have a destinated operator because the probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles if alcohol is involved and alcohol is a primary contributor to factor to recreational boating deaths,” said Amy Snider-Spencer, the Region 1 Communications and Outreach with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Rob Croom from Golden Circle Marine and Outdoors in Jackson has been in the marine service and sales for 36 years. He has been busy repairing boats for the upcoming season and is happy to get back outside to enjoy the outdoors.

“I’m excited about being out on the water this weekend. There are going to be a ton of people out there. Everyone is going to reunite and be out there with their friends, family, and everyone. It’s going to be a good time,” said Rob Croom, the President of the Golden Circle Marine and Outdoors.

The agency says this holiday weekend is expected to be one of the busiest of the year with many boaters going to the water for the first time in a while so be sure to keep safety your top priority.

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