It’s Labor Day weekend, and once again, it’s been a deadly one on Tennessee waterways.
Already one confirmed death this weekend alone, and 22 so far this year.
Saturday in Franklin County, a jet skier was killed on Tim’s Ford Lake.
Zachary Davis of Christiana was riding alongside his brother-in-law but for some reason he fell behind. Water rescue crews found Davis floating in the river near the jet ski. He is believed to have hit a bank.
Also on Saturday, two boaters were seriously injured on the Tennessee River.
TWRA said their boat hit a tree in the river in Perry County. Both transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center with critical injuries.
Last year, five people died on over Labor Day weekend on the water in Tennessee.
TWRA says most deaths can be easily avoided and boating officers know what they’re looking for out on patrol.
“People need to watch out for other boaters,” TWRA Officer Josh Landrum said. “There’s no lanes out here like there are on roads.”
Landrum says boating under the influence can turn a fun day deadly and put you behind bars.
“A lot of times in our serious boat accidents and fatal boat accidents, we find that alcohol is a major contributor,” Landrum said.
State law also mandates that a properly-fitting life jacket must be somewhere on board for every passenger in the boat. Children under the age of 12 are required to wear them at all times.
Landrum said 85-percent of the time, in any kind of water, it’s a life jacket that saves lives.
“A lot of times people have kids on their vessels, a lot of times we’re looking for children not wearing their life jackets,” Landrum said.
TWRA said they are looking for dangerous, erratic drivers out on the water. If boaters are driving recklessly, cutting off other boats or driving too close… expect to see flashing, blue lights approaching.
A minor violation can end up costing you hundreds of dollars.
“We want to do our best, to make sure when people come out here, they go home safely,” Landrum said.
If you are out riding your boats at night, Landrum said the best thing to do is just take it easy and slow down.