Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency posted an entertaining video about safety for boaters that featured a couple of dummies – literally.
“Jefferson County Wildlife Officer Justin Pinkston sees some dumb stuff on the water, but this crew right here is beyond belief,” the TWRA joked. “Boat smart this Memorial Day weekend, and don’t be a dummy!”
In the comical clip, Officer Justin Pinkston approached a vessel full of mannequins exhibiting risky behaviors. As the wildlife officer pointed out, the kids weren’t wearing life jackets and were dangling off the edge of the boat. Meanwhile, the adults were drinking, driving way too fast and littering. Not surprisingly, the kids fell off of the boat when they came to a full stop.
Take a look.
Unfortunately, these dummies weren’t the only ones to suffer the consequences of poor boat safety. According to one Tennessean in the comments, they saw a very similar situation first-hand. Several years ago, the boater noticed a child on another vessel sitting on the edge of the bow.
“There was a wave that came across the bow of the pontoon causing the front of the pontoon to dip down,” the boater explained. Consequently, the wave “caused him to fall off the bow and go underneath the pontoon between the tubes.”
“He wasn’t wearing a life jacket either,” the commenter continued. “The pontoon driver immediately reduced the throttle and power and only by a miracle and the Grace of God the kid went through the tubes and came out the stern without being chopped up by the prop.”
Tennessee Wildlife Officials Urge Memorial Day Boaters, ‘Don’t Become a Statistic’ with Startling Facts
Along with the humorous video, the TWRA also shared a few posts with a more serious tone. In most instances, boating accidents can be avoided simply by following the state’s laws and safety precautions. Often, boaters think that the worst-case scenario won’t happen to them, but it’s this false sense of invincibility that’s behind so many of the accidents that occur every summer. To help Memorial Day boaters gain a better sense of how dangerous these mistakes can be, the TWRA posted a few statistics.
Here are just some of the facts that the department shared:
- 86% of drowning victims weren’t wearing life jackets.
- Alcohol is the number one contributor to boat fatalities.
- Roughly 22 people in Tennessee die from boating accidents each year.
- Most personal watercraft (PWC) accidents involve people ages 16 to 20.
- 25% of boating fatalities involve a paddle craft like a kayak, canoe or paddleboard.
- Most Tennessee boating accidents occur between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
With this in mind, it is incredibly important that boaters take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of their passengers. That means wear life jackets, having a sober driver, obeying the speed limits and maintaining proper space from other vessels.