NASHVILLE — The 2021 National Safe Boating Week is May 22-28 and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be participating to promote the wear of life jackets as the summer boating season starts.

    National Safe Boating Week is annually held the week prior to Memorial Day weekend. Boating partners across the United States and Canada are teaming to promote safe boating practices, including the wear of life jackets for National Safe Boating Week and throughout the 2021 boating season.

    Tennessee offers boating enthusiasts an abundance of opportunities to enjoy the resources across the state. Memorial Day weekend is viewed as the unofficial kickoff to the summer boating season. The goal of National Safe Boating Week is to educate the public about the importance of safe boating practices and wearing life jackets.

    In 2020, boating was one of the outdoors activities which saw a substantial increase. The TWRA reported a noticeable increase in traffic on the state’s lakes and rivers. After a record-low year of eight boating-fatalities in 2019, the most boating-related fatalities in 37 years with 32 occurred on Tennessee waters in 2020.

    “We want to continue to stress that the single most important action one can take to prevent drowning while boating is to wear a life jacket,” said Betsy Woods, TWRA Boating Education Coordinator. “We encourage our boaters to enjoy their time on the water in a safe and responsible matter.”

    In addition, Friday, May 21 is Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day. Boaters can share a photo wearing a life jacket at work (or home) on social media along with the hashtag #lifejacket2work and tagging @boatingcampaign (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram). Photos can also be emailed to [email protected] Winners will be chosen randomly throughout the day to receive boating prizes from the Safe Boating Campaign, such as T-shirts, dry bags, first aid kits, stickers, and more.