Officials urging boat owners to be safe during Riverbend
Officials are encouraging boaters attending Riverbend to be safe during the festival.
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is using social media to encourage people to not drink and drive.
“Boaters just need to be sure to take their time and when you anchor it up, the big thing about the river is the current. The river current will take you,” Greg Whisenant said.
It's a rental process that starts months in advance.
Wristbands get you through the gate but it's a boat slip that gives these music fans a front row seat.
Brandon Blackstone says the same rules that apply to the road apply here.
"People are out here drinking too much and trying to drive their boats back. Just drinking and driving out here shouldn't be done,” Blackstone said.
Blackstone says the best way see Riverbend from the water is to dock near shore.
“You don't have to worry about driving home or anything like that. You can come in, have a good time, and go to bed,” Blackstone said.
Boat owner Greg Whisenant agrees, saying anchoring out on the river is a chore.
The bottom of the river is mainly sand, which makes it hard for the anchor to stay in place.
But he says the current is what people need to really watch out for.
"You jump in the water, you go out for a swim. The current will take you away from the boat very quickly. So you need to make sure if you are going to jump out of your boat, you need to make sure you are swimming hard to stay up with the current,” Whisenant said.
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are monitoring the water during the festival.
And boat owners are happy to have them out there.
"They do a very good job of making sure the waterways stay safe. They are out here on both ends, making sure the boats come out, they are going at the wake speed, making sure everyone stays safe,” Whisenant said.
Riverbend continues with Keith Urban on Friday.