Fri
May 25 2007
12:06 pm

Memorial Day weekend marks the launch of summer boating season, and we are blessed with an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities on Tennessee's beautiful rivers and lakes. But each year we read about too many deaths and serious injuries on our waterways.

Here are some TWRA statistics (PDF format) from the 2006 boating season:

• The number of boating fatalities for 2006 was 16. This was an increase from 2005 which reported 10.

• The type of accident that resulted in the most fatalities was falls overboard with 3.

• The type of vessel that was most common in fatal accidents was the open motorboat with 11 vessels.

• The number of serious injury accidents in 2006 was 107 resulting in 129 injuries.

• The type of accident that resulted in the most injuries was Skier Mishap or Fall with 27 accidents.

• The body of water that produced the most injury accidents was the Ocoee River with 19 accidents. These resulted from whitewater sports activities.

• The number of Personal Water Craft accidents in 2006 was 46. This was no change from 2005 which reported 46. The number of injuries for PWC accidents was 38.

• The type of PWC accident that was most common was collision with another vessel with 25 accidents.

• The leading contributing factor for PWC accidents was operator inattention with 7 accidents. This was followed closely by careless/reckless with 6 accidents.

• The total number of registered vessels in 2006 was 271,687. That was an increase of over 4,000 from 2005.

• The total number of reported accidents in 2006 was 222. That was a increase from 2005 which had 169.

• The most common type of boat involved in an accident was an open motorboat.

• The leading type of accident was collision with another vessel.

• The most common operation during an accident was cruising.

• The leading contributing factor of accidents was careless or reckless behavior followed closely by operator inattention.

• Alcohol and/or drug use was a contributing factor in 6.3% of accidents. This was an increase from 2005 which was 5.3% of accidents.

And that's not counting other accidental drownings. Don't be a statistic. If you are going into open water for any reason, you really should be wearing a personal flotation device. Even if you're an Olympic-class swimmer, there are too many things that can go wrong. The same applies if you're in an inherently unstable craft such as a canoe or a kayak.

As a kid, the best thing I learned from Red Cross water safety/life saving classes was the "reach, throw, row, go" protocol for potential drowning rescue situations.

First try to reach the victim from the safety of land or the boat, by hand, with a paddle or oar, a fishing rod, a stick, a rope, a towel, anything. If that's not possible, find something to throw to the victim such as a life vest, seat cushion, boat fender, plastic jug, cooler, or anything that floats. If that's not possible, try to reach the victim by boat, canoe, inner tube, or whatever other floating vessel might be about (but do not approach the victim under power). Entering the water to attempt a swimming rescue is always the last resort. All too frequently the result is two victims, even if the rescuer is trained and in good physical condition.

As the summer boating season approaches, boating safety cannot be stressed enough. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is primarily responsible for safety and enforcement on Tennessee waterways. They have safe boating courses and now require anyone born after Jan. 1, 1989 to pass a boating safety exam and carry a certification card. There is more information here, including a free online boating safety course.

Here are some other useful Tennessee boating and water safety links:

  • Safety tips
  • Summary of boating regulations
  • Lighting requirements
  • Aids to navigation
  • Rules of right-of-way (PDF)
  • Required equipment checklist

    And to emphasize one of my pet peeves, you are responsible for your wake, so please keep an eye on it.

    Even if you are a safe and responsible boater, there are plenty of irresponsible yahoos out on the lakes (some who may have had a few too many) who are a danger to themselves and others. So please be prepared, and be careful out there!

    UPDATE: The Maryville Daily Times has this article.

  • 42
    like
    Fri
    May 25 2007
    11:30 am

    I'm not really surprised by the Iraq cave-in. But I'm genuinely baffled by this wait 'til September mantra echoed by both sides. One might think it was sparked by the anticipated "Petraeus Report," but I'm pretty sure the latter was a reaction to the mantra, not vice versa. Is it driven by the fiscal calendar?

    Where did this September idea originate, and is it an indication of some back-room, bipartisan consensus?

    15
    like
    Fri
    May 25 2007
    11:22 am

    CNN has this article about sunscreens. Many of us don't give them a second thought. Many of us are getting skin cancers, too.

    16
    like
    Fri
    May 25 2007
    10:48 am
    By: bill young  shortURL

    The deal with these folks is; they want a winner & they will leave ya in a new york second if they think you can't.

    Senator Clinton, up till now, has been the establishment candidate. That could change.

    One poll shows the Senator 3rd in Iowa; behind Edwards & Obama. In Florida, the latest poll has Edwards ahead.

    Richardson could be poised to fill the gap.

    The Governor has steadly moved up to 10% in Iowa & N.H. Running hard in Nevada. Plus he's got a clever add up in the early states.

    Then there's Gore.The establishment folks know he's steady. Can do the job. Plus the left wing, torn between Gore & Nader in '00, now think he's the coolest thing EVER.

    Could a write-in for Gore in N.H. get this party started? Can U say Gore-Obama?

    Topics:
    24
    like
    Fri
    May 25 2007
    10:43 am

    Great news! By way of Michael Silence, the controversial Road to Nowhere is officially dead.

    UPDATE: Well, maybe not offically dead, but definitely being given its last rites.

    77
    like
    Fri
    May 25 2007
    10:33 am

    Read all about it at Facing South...

    UPDATE: I hate to see this really, not only because of safety reasons but because I'm pretty sure the folks at TVA are doing their best. At some point you have to start wondering, though, if their best is good enough. I'm still on the fence regarding nuclear power. I used to be 100% for it. Now I'm not so sure. Safety and nuclear waste disposal are serious concerns that we don't seem able or willing to deal with.

    On a related note, see this excellent (and scary) report by Sue Sturgis at Facing South earlier this week regarding plans to make the South a nuclear waste dump. (And my follow up here.)

    And before that, here is a disturbing report about the pending shutdown (which may have already occurred) of the Savannah River Ecology Lab which studies the effects of radioactive contamination on the environment. Their research is "specifically related to impacts from nuclear weapons related production. Such information is essential to the operation and closure of all DOE sites. SREL is recognized as a world leader in radiation ecology and provides unprecedented training for future scientists and engineers in this field."

    48
    like
    Fri
    May 25 2007
    10:31 am
    By: redmondkr  shortURL

    My crazy neighbor has confessed - and bragged about it. He vows that he has perfected the transfer of his brain into the bodies of animals and that it was really he, in the body of that bird, who pooped on Mr. Bush yesterday in the Rose Garden. He came by here early this morning in a rental car and said he was removing himself to an undisclosed location until "the heat's off".

    I wonder why he didn't just fly away.

    Topics:
    90
    like
    Fri
    May 25 2007
    09:33 am

    Russ McBee (who, by the way, is a great recent addition to the Tennessee blogosphere whose blog you should be reading) has tagged me with another one of these blog chain letter/meme things. Read more...

    Continued...

    Topics:
    256
    like
    Fri
    May 25 2007
    08:49 am
    By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

    I never noticed before how much Fred looks like a mask...

    Tom Tomorrow explains Republican Presidential Campaign:


    Tom Tomorrow

    18
    like
    Fri
    May 25 2007
    08:28 am

    The Senate yesterday rejected two separate amendments to the immigration bill that would eliminate the Z Visa legalization program and limit the Y Visa guest worker program by phasing it out after five years.

    The vote against sunsetting the Y Visa guest worker program was close at 49-48. (Earlier in the week, the Senate rejected an amendment that would have eliminated the Y Visa immigration program altogether by a vote of 64-31.)

    The vote against eliminating the Z Visa legalization program was 66-29. 26 Republicans joined 38 Democrats and two independents to vote for the legalization program. Nine Democrats voted against it. They are: Pryor (D-AR), Landrieu (D-LA), McCaskill (D-MO), Baucus (D-MT), Tester (D-MT), Nelson (D-NE), Dorgan (D-ND), Byrd (D-WV), and Rockefeller (D-WV).

    Sens. Alexander and Corker both voted to eliminate the Z Visa legalization program. Sen. Corker, a co-sponsor of the Y Visa amendment, voted for sunsetting the guest worker program. Sen. Alexander voted against it*.

    The Senate has delayed a vote on the full immigration bill until June.

    See here for more info on the immigration bill including the Y Visa guest worker program and the Z Visa legalization program.

    *UPDATE: Looks like Sen. Alexander may have been the swing vote against the Y Visa sunset? ACK has more observations and speculation.

    127
    like

    Patricia Brown from the NY Times wrote: The new cemetery tourism — a subterranean version of the History Channel — is also a means of developing brand loyalty in the wake of what Joseph Dispenza, president of the historic Forest Lawn in Buffalo, calls a “diminishing customer base.”

    Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, Calif., a columbarium designed by Julia Morgan, architect of San Simeon, recently started “Jazz at the Chimes” concerts to reach culture enthusiasts who might be potential customers.

    Some cemeteries are betting on infotainment. At Heritage Day last weekend at the 200-year-old Congressional Cemetery in Washington, a 70-piece marching band serenaded the grave of John Philip Sousa, and dog owners held a parade for dogs dressed as historical cemetery personages, including a Union soldier.

    Ah, those humans! You gotta love 'em.

    Topics:
    16
    like
    Thu
    May 24 2007
    04:47 pm

    The Riverside Tavern is still open. Apparently the Ruth's Chris Steak House takeover has been delayed, at least for a while. We are told that Riverside will remain open under the current setup until at least July 1st.

    UPDATE: Another source says the end of this month is it for Riverside. And either way, there are concerns about getting the renovations done in time for U.T. Football season.

    25
    like
    Thu
    May 24 2007
    03:08 pm

    The workplace smoking ban has passed the Tennessee Senate. It is scheduled for the House next week.

    In related news, one-half of the cigarette tax increase to fund education has cleared the Senate Finance Committee.

    UPDATE: Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle on the cigarette tax:

    "Tennesseans, regardless of political party, understand that our schools need more funding. That’s why you saw overwhelming bipartisan support today for increasing the cigarette tax.

    I applaud the Republican senators that stood with us. But let me be clear, 20 cents won’t do everything the State needs to do. Twenty cents won’t fund the crime bills. Twenty cents won’t fund State employee pay raises and compression. Twenty cents won’t restore the road fund with recurring funds. And 20 cents won’t discourage as many young people from taking up smoking as 40 cents will.

    It is my intention to push the full 40-cent increase that Governor Bredesen has requested when we get this bill to the floor. I expect my Senate colleagues, who understand the importance of these other measures as well as I do, to join me in this effort."

    23
    like
    Thu
    May 24 2007
    02:43 pm

    Waiting on Gov's signature. No help from 6 TN House Republicans, 2 from East TN.

    16
    like
    Thu
    May 24 2007
    12:53 pm
    By: Factchecker  shortURL

    Bump for tonight's show detailed here. This was loads of fun last year and it started with a great meetup at the Downtown Brewery.

    Don't know if I can make it much earlier than the show, but if others want to meet up again I will try to join.

    13
    like
    Thu
    May 24 2007
    12:25 pm

    The Senate began debate this week on a new "compromise" immigration bill (S.1348). This is a complicated bill and it's hard to find objective info.

    In addition, many of the amendments are not incorporated in their final form into the version currently published at Thomas.loc.gov.

    Read more for a roundup of information and commentary on the bill...

    Continued...

    130
    like
    Thu
    May 24 2007
    11:49 am

    Perhaps not new to you but new to me.

    The Stone Coyotes. Wow!

    (link...)

    Check out The Ghost of Vicksburg.

    18
    like
    Thu
    May 24 2007
    10:54 am

    (link...)

    Weird, very weird...

    15
    like
    Thu
    May 24 2007
    07:25 am

    Sponsors of the AT&T statewide cable franchise bill say they will withdraw the bill for this year. They didn't feel they would have they votes and they are disappointed by the lack of support from local governments. It will likely be back for the 2008 session.

    Knoxville News Sentinel (AP)

    Memphis Commercial Appeal

    Nashville City Paper

    I'm surprised. I thought it was a done deal. One article speculates, though, that all the amendments neutered AT&T's advantage, so they wanted it pulled. It looks like Frank Cagle was right. This is the bill that keeps on giving - to lobbyists.

    94
    like

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