HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Hamilton County deputies are educating community members about water safety during National Safe Boating Week.
Deputies with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol are out on the water making sure everyone is safe.
They want to make sure everyone on board has a life jacket that fits.
“An adult does not want to have a small child’s flotation device and also you want to make sure that the children, all children under 12 have to wear a life jacket for appropriate for them if the vessel is underway unless they are below deck,” said Deputy Sam Roistacher.
They also check for impaired drivers.
‘And the other thing is that we run into is quite a bit of alcohol use on the water. The operator of the vessel needs to be experienced and he needs to be sober,” Deputy Roistacher said.
While there is no speed limit out here, people can get in trouble for reckless driving.
“There is not a problem with a boat doing 70 knots on the water as long as they are doing it safely. That sounds very fast and it is 70 knots is probably pushing 80 miles an hour,” Deputy Roistacher said.
While they do write citations, most of the time they just want to inform boaters.
“So one of the things that the sheriff’s office wants to make sure is that everybody out here is enjoying themselves, having fun, enjoy yourself, operate safely, don’t endanger yourself your family or anybody else on the waterway,” Deputy Roistacher said.
Just before the season gets busy, some boaters are prepared.
According to the US Coast Guard, in 2017 there were nearly 400 injuries caused by boaters not paying attention.