CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – The Johnson City Sail and Power Squadron set up four life jacket loaner stations at South Holston Lake and Watauga Lake.
The squadron is doing this in honor of National Safe Boating Week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) each year about 332 people die from drowning in a boat related incident.
Blaine Allara works at Lakeshore Marina and he told News Channel 11, when the marina is at capacity; some boaters get relaxed with the rules.
“You’ll see people on jet skis all the time out on the water without life jackets and that’s completely illegal and dangerous,” said Allara.
Allara said he witnessed what can happen when boaters ditch their life jackets.
“Unfortunately there have been some been some drownings. Sometimes the weather just takes control, and sail boaters have their own problems.”
Johnson City Sail and Power Squadron Member Clarke Lucas told News Channel 11, for that reason, the organization set up the life jacket loaner stations.
“Watauga Lake is about 250 feet deep out in the middle but it doesn’t take much water to drown,” said Lucas.
On May 24th and 26th, the Johnson City Sail and Power Squadron will offer safe boating classes at Northeast State Community College from 5:30 to 8:00pm ($10.00 per person).
Starting July 1st, Virginia boat owners must complete a boating safety class before heading out on the water or they could be subject to a fine. Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.