In a year-end report released today, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) states 2020 had the most boating-related fatalities in 37 years.
A total of 32 boating-related deaths happened last year. Back in 2019, a record-low year of eight deaths were reported.
According to TWRA, there was a large increase of boat traffic on the state’s lakes and rivers last year.
Preliminary numbers show that alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor for about 30% of the deadly incidents.
TWRA says in addition to the boating-related deaths, there were 61 serious injury incidents that left 82 people injured and 82 additional property damage incidents.
As the new year is underway, TWRA wildlife officers would encourage the boating public to help keep Tennessee waterways safe by doing things such as:
1) Take a boater safety course.
2) Wear your life jacket while out on the water.
3) Be aware of the water conditions around dams, both above and below.
4) Always boat with a sober operator. Operating impaired is a crime.
5) Report unsafe operation, boat accidents, or law violations to your nearest TWRA dispatch center.