Marinas, TWRA gear up for Memorial Day weekend on the water

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Rain in the forecast isn’t enough to keep avid boaters off the water this Memorial Day weekend.

Marinas across East Tennessee are ready to help thousands of people spend their holiday weekends on the lake.

“It’s just kind of like the kick-off. Kind of like football season on the lake,” said Corey Roberts, general manager of Norris Dam Lake.

He’s not worried about rain affecting business this weekend.

“You’re coming the lake to get wet, so you might as well go on out as long as there’s no thunder or lightning,” said Roberts.

Roberts and other marina managers said a slight uptick in gas prices for boats won’t deter many people either.

“It varies all across the lake, depending how far out you are,” said Pam Keith, operations manager for Twin Cove Marina.

Their gas prices haven’t changed, but Norris Dam Marina saw a 20-cent increase per gallon for their fuel prices.

Both marinas charge $3.89 per gallon, which is about average this year.

Keith said most speed boats at their marina will cost about $200 to fill up with gas.

“I don’t see it affecting boat business to much this year,” said Roberts.

And with all the boats on the lakes rain or shine, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be adding more officers than usual to patrol the waterways this weekend.

Sgt. Roy Smith with the TWRA said there are specific violations his officers are looking for on the water.

And not just this weekend, but all summer long.

“Any kind of reckless or dangerous, negligent behavior you’re going to get stopped,” said Smith. “Registration – things like that – we look for. And then kids not properly wearing life jackets, people not properly seated in the boats, things like that”

Smith said about 70 percent of boating accidents involve alcohol, and he asks that all boats have a designated driver. Otherwise you face being cited for boating under the influence.

He also reminds families that all kids under the age of 13 are required to wear a life jacket.

© 2018 WBIR





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