It is that time of year again…time to fire up the Bar-B-Q, let down that convertible top, pull out the shorts and sandals, and travel to the lake for some fun in the sun. That’s right..it’s summer time in Tennessee. One of the best things about summer time in middle Tennessee is the many rivers and lakes we have access to.
According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee is one of the leading states in the country for water based recreational activities.
It’s not ALL fun and games
It is hard to imagine a better summer day than one spent on the water at the lake with family and friends. However, along with the fun and sun comes some risks as well. Summer time (AKA-Lake Season) is a great time of the year, but it is also a time to be aware of the dangers that lurk. While most of us go to the lake to fish, swim, wakeboard or water-ski, some go to act stupid.
It is no secret that many take to the lake on the weekends in large groups and use it as an excuse to get drunk. Drinking and boating is just as big a problem as drinking and driving. The only thing that keeps the tragedy numbers down is that fact that less people are doing it.
According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, in 2014 there was a total of 134 reported boating incidents in the state and most of these incidents were boat on boat collisions due to the drivers being distracted.
7 Important Water Safety Tips
Therefore, everyone should consider these safety tips while on the lake this summer just to help us all have a safer and more enjoyable time.
- Be Aware of your surroundings and who is boating/swimming around you.
- Don’t Drink and Boat. Drinking and Boating is just as dangerous as drinking and driving a vehicle. Have a designated Boat Driver.
- Try to avoid Swimming or Boating where there is a lot of traffic. This will keep boats/people separated and help avoid accidents.
- Stay Hydrated while out in the sun all day and especially do so if you are consuming alcohol.
- Know where YOUR Children are and that they are aware of the rules of the lake. It is easy to let kids run free while they are with their friends but it is vitally important that they are aware of the risks and know the rules.
- Always have life vests. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency requires that all boats operate with the same amount of life vests on board as passengers.
- Take responsibility for yourself. Don’t count on other people to protect you. Expect the unexpected.
Most importantly…Have Fun and Enjoy the Summer. Let’s all just be careful while doing so!