An amendment recently passed in the Tennessee General Assembly requires that persons who rent motorized watercraft must complete an orientation for the specific type of vessel they are renting.
The renter of the watercraft must sign off in acknowledgement after completion of the orientation. The marina or any other rental entity will keep the acknowledgement on file for at least a 30-day period.
Tennessee residents who have successfully completed a monitored National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) exam and hold the TWRA-issued wallet certification card are exempt from this orientation. Anyone who holds a U.S. Coast Guard operator license or any out-of-state visitor who holds a NASBLA-approved boating safety education certification also is exempt.
Tennessee residents born after Jan. 1, 1989 are required to pass a boater education exam administered by an approved TWRA representative in order to operate any motorized vessel over 8.5 horsepower. Out-of-state residents born after Jan. 1, 1989 must show proof of successful completion of a NASBLA-approved boating safety course. Non-residents may provide certification from any state-issued course.
Tennessee residents born after the Jan.1, 1989 can purchase a Type 600 Exam Permit online or from any hunting and fishing license vendor for a cost of $10 and go to a testing location to take the exam or take a class. Locations for testing and for classes can be found on the TWRA website under the boating section. For study materials, telephone (615) 781-6682.
In other boating news, TWRA has reported that there were no boating-related fatalities over the 2019 Memorial Day holiday weekend. It marks the fifth consecutive year without a boating fatality over the holiday weekend.
During the period from May 24-27, there were five injury incidents and six property damage incidents, the majority of which occurred in TWRA Region IV in East Tennessee.
TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement officers made 21 boating under the influence (BUI) arrests, the most since 2016. TWRA Region II, which encompasses several lakes in Middle Tennessee, reported the most BUI arrests with eight.