Low Lake Levels, Hidden Hazards

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On Lake Loudon, Knox County (WVLT) - Many of you are itching to get your boat on the water this weekend, but water levels are very low this time of year.

And that creates hazards that are usually hidden.

It seems like the perfect day to be out on the water, but if you look closely, there are hazards everywhere.

"Maybe sandbars, some trees that were normally deeper now they're not now you're gonna get some entanglements," says Darrell Whitaker from the Knoxville Fire Department.

"I'm really sort of skeptical about going out because of that," Vincent Workman's skeptical because his boat hit something under the water. "I swung out to miss it and then I hit some rocks or something over there where it's usually plenty deep enough."

But this time of year some areas are not deep enough.

"There's a lot of hidden islands under the water, hidden hazards that you normally wouldn't see because you're used to higher levels," Whitaker says.

For an experienced boater, spotting shallow water is easy.

Darrell Seiber fishes all year round and thinks the water level has dropped about 15 feet, but he knows how dangerous low levels can be. "If you don't know where you're going you could take the lower unit off your motor or mess the boat up pretty good."

The Knoxville Fire Department says sandbars aren't the only thing to look out for.

"All the junk that's accumulated on the banks, at that point will be coming back into the river and it's gonna be a hazard for any jet skier that's out here on the water," Whitaker.

A reminder, always wear your life jacket, the last thing you want to think about having to do in an emergency is put it on.

If your boat is damaged and starts sinking, get out immediately. If not, stay with it.

"Flag the passersby for some help and if they can they'll come over and assist you, if they can't assist you then they'll get somebody," says Whitaker.

When you launch your boat this weekend, since it could be the first time since last year, we want to remind you to bring along the life jackets, flotation devices, oars, an air horn and a fire extinguisher.

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