TVA Police Urge Reservoir Users To Play Safely
May 26, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – With the start of the traditional summer recreation season this Memorial Day weekend, Tennessee Valley Authority Police are urging the public to use caution and common sense around the water. In 2009, 27 people drowned in TVA reservoirs.
“Most of the drowning deaths we investigate can be prevented if people simply wear a personal floatation device and avoid using alcohol or drugs around the water,” said Raymond Jordan, TVA Police field operations commander. “It’s a tragedy every time a life is lost, but it’s even worse when many of these accidents didn’t have to happen.”
Two-thirds of all boating accidents and half of all boating fatalities involve alcohol.
TVA Police will be increasing marine patrols on TVA’s reservoirs and shorelines during the summer months, beginning with the long Memorial Day weekend, May 29-31.
“Although we have the authority to issue citations and make arrests when necessary, our main goal is to reduce the number of drowning deaths and accidents involving boats and personal water craft,” Jordan said.
TVA marine officers are commissioned by federal and state governments and perform their duties on the Tennessee River system under agreements with the U.S. Coast Guard and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
TVA Police offer these additional safety tips for boaters:
- Don’t allow children to boat or swim alone.
- Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times.
- Watch out for other boaters and swimmers.
- Operate your boat at safe speeds, especially at night.
- Never anchor your boat in an area below a dam.
- Don’t enter restricted areas marked by buoys, booms, cables or signs.
- Be a courteous boater.
- Follow the “rules of the road.”
Anyone who sees unsafe activities can contact TVA Police at 800-824-3861 or their local law enforcement agencies.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 36,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.
Jim Allen, Knoxville, (865) 632-7453
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville (865) 632-6000