TWRA gears up for big holiday weekend

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KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It looks like it will be almost perfect weather for a long holiday weekend on the water.

"Pretty much going to be fishing most of the weekend in the mornings, and then we'll spend the rest of the afternoon wakeboarding because that's where all the fun will be - tubing and wakeboarding," said Nathan Troutt.

To make sure everyone stays safe, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, or TWRA, plans to do random stops and check for safety equipment like fire extinguishers, throwable flotation devices and life jackets.

"The boat is required to have on board a wearable, US Coast Guard approved lifejacket for everybody that's onboard the vessel. Anyone under 13 is required to have theirs on and it's required to be of the appropriate size," said Sgt. Joe Durnin, with the TWRA.

Of course, boating and drinking don't mix. Durnin said TWRA will crack down on people boating under the influence. Like driving, the legal BAC for boaters is .08.

Officers will also make sure people aren't speeding through no wake zones and are careful around other boats and swimmers.

Many boaters said they appreciate the agency looking out for them, like Pete Mynatt. He said he had a boating accident a few years ago after not following the rules.

"When the motor is running, you're not supposed to be anywhere but in your seat, and for about 30 seconds I wasn't and we hit an embankment - we hit an underground. And he got on top of me with the boat," said Mynatt.

Now he's more careful. TWRA officers said they hope everyone will take extra care to have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

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