CHATTANOOGA. (AP) - Wildlife agency officers say boaters often cause their own safety problems, sometimes just by failing to pay attention.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency boat officer Matt Majors told the Chattanooga Times Free Press he has to "deal mostly with really good people who make poor decisions."
Boating-related deaths in the state have increased from 10 in 2005 to 22 last year, which officials attribute to more boaters on the water.
TWRA spokesman Dan Hicks said "it's amazing how many people get out on the water at the beginning of the season who aren't prepared."
During a patrol earlier this year, he stopped a boat with seven people and only two lifejackets. While citing the owner, his fellow officer noticed water in the boat and they ended up having to tow it to shore.