Basic Rules and Regulations When Boating in Tellico Lake

by | May 30, 2023

Boating in Tellico Lake is a popular activity for locals and tourists alike. However, it’s important to know and follow the rules and regulations to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Here are some basic rules and regulations to remember when boating in Tellico Lake.

Boating in Tellico Lake: Basic Rules and Regulations You Need To Know

Boating Equipment

Ensure your boat is up to snuff with Coast Guard-approved equipment that meets material, construction, and performance standards. There are also various boating essentials you should keep on board.

Boating Regulations & Laws

If you’re the boat owner, you’re responsible for any damages or injuries caused by your vessel. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) enforces the Tennessee Boating Safety Act. They can pull over and board any vessel subject to the act. The TWRA can issue citations or even make arrests if they catch anyone breaking the rules.

Before Leaving

Always let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. Check the weather forecast before heading out, and make sure your boat is well-equipped. Don’t forget to ventilate the bilges before starting the engine!

Life Jackets Required Below Dams

If you’re boating in areas below a dam, everyone on board must wear a personal flotation device. The life jackets must also have US Coast Guard approval.

Young Operators

Tennessee residents born after January 1, 1989, need a TWRA-issued card as proof of passing the boating safety exam. It is a requirement for operating powered vessels. Kids under 12 can’t operate a powered boat with over 8.5 horsepower without an adult.

Safety Hazards

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous and sometimes fatal threat to boaters. Exhaust leaks can release carbon monoxide throughout the boat and enclosed areas. Stay away from enclosed areas near exhaust vents, and avoid swimming near or under the back deck or swim platform.

Propeller Safety

Keep your toes, feet, legs, and life safe by knowing your boat’s “danger zone.” Turn off the engine when people swim near the boat. You should also have someone check the stern area before putting the engines in reverse.

Electricity and Boats

Always use marine-grade power cords, and don’t leave a shore power cord on the dock with only the plug end connected. If AC leaks out and reaches anything grounded in contact with water, it could be an electrocution hazard for swimmers.

Boat Lighting

Boats operating at night or during periods of restricted visibility must have proper lighting. Boat lights are important for helping boaters navigate. They also make vessels more visible to others in the area.

Ready to launch your boat in Tellico Lake?

Following these basic rules and regulations for boating on Tellico Lake can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. For more information about these regulations, you can visit TWRA’s website.

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