11:20am

Tue May 22, 2012
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Tenn. Water Sports Deaths Up in 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State wildlife officials say seven people have died in boating accidents in Tennessee so far this year. Reported deaths are up over the same period last year.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is urging boaters planning on spending Memorial Day on the water to wear life jackets. TWRA spokesperson Betsy Woods also notes that it's illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Alcohol actually affects you three times faster on a boat than it does on land, and you add those environmental stressors to that. You have the sunlight, you have the glare, you have the motion of waves, you have the engine noise, and the vibration; that’s what causes that.”

Woods says TWRA officers will be out in force for the holiday weekend. TWRA issued 13 citations for boating under the influence last Memorial Day and another 14 citations for reckless operation.