Army Corps warns boating can turn dangerous quickly

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – This holiday weekend marks the unofficial kick-off for boating season in Middle Tennessee.

Park rangers with the Army Corps of Engineers told News 2 they expect thousands of boaters to hit the water over the long holiday weekend.

Rangers warn that even on a beautiful day, things can turn dangerous quickly when you are out on the water.

They explained some of the biggest mistakes they see boaters make.

“The most common issues we have on the water is folks just operating their boats beyond their limits. They are running the boats too fast and cutting too close to other boats,” explained Brent Sewell, a Park Ranger with the US Army Corps of Engineers.

(Photo: WKRN)

“Perhaps they are not used to running the boat that quickly, but they get out and have a few drinks, get excited and have friends around and show off a little bit,” he added.

Last Memorial Day weekend, officers issued 447 tickets and 410 warnings statewide.

They made 21 boating under the influence arrests, and rangers told News 2 the type of behavior that officers will be on the lookout for.

“We are looking for folks that just don’t act ordinary–boats swerving or following closely behind others, trying to jump the wake, people standing up on the front of the boats in an unsafe manner where they could be thrown overboard,” Sewell told News 2.

“We are also looking for folks that are acting somewhat dangerous–coming to close to shore, coming in getting in and around our swim area,” he said.

Click here for more information on boating safety and regulations.