TVA Police Urge Reservoir Users To Be Extra Cautious This Summer
May 26, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Recent flood waters along the Tennessee River may create hazardous conditions for boaters and swimmers this summer. With the start of the annual recreation season this Memorial Day weekend, Tennessee Valley Authority Police are urging the public to be especially careful on area reservoirs and waterways.
"Heavy rains and flooding in April and May have increased the debris and hazards in the water, much of which may be under the surface and not visible to boaters and swimmers," said David Jolley, vice president of TVA Police and Physical Security. "Boaters need to remain alert for debris in all parts of the reservoir, and to be safe swimmers need to use the designated swimming areas at various campgrounds and recreation areas."
TVA Police also are urging boaters to use Coast Guard-approved life jackets and flotation devices at all times.
"There have been a number of fatal accidents in the last year as a result of boats capsizing and personal flotation devices not being worn by the people on board," Jolley said. "In about two-thirds of all boating accidents and half of all boating fatalities, alcohol is involved. Alcohol impairs your judgment and motor skills and seriously increases your chances of accidents and injuries around the water."
TVA Police offer these additional safety tips for boaters:
- Don't allow children to boat or swim alone.
- 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 that can produce about 34,000 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.
Scott Brooks, Knoxville (865) 632-8031
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000