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TWRA offers guidelines for safe summer boating season

Memorial Day weekend is regarded as the unofficial start to the summer boating season, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency encourages the use of life jackets while boating in a safe and responsible manner.
In addition, TWRA stresses the responsible use of alcohol while boating. The effects of alcohol increase because of external stressors such as engine vibration, wave motion and glare from the sun.
Performing a simple maintenance check before getting on the water is also important. Check hoses to make sure they are in good shape. Check spark plugs and be sure to use UL marine grade plugs. Check the lights and carry extra fuses and bulbs.
In addition, TWRA urges boaters to follow the basics:
*if your boat is 16 feet or longer, there must be a Type IV throwable device onboard;
*have onboard a fire extinguisher if you have enclosed fuel compartments or cabins;
*anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while the boat is underway;
*any boat operator born after Jan. 1, 1989, must have onboard the TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate;
*make sure there is a current boat registration.