The Fourth of July is a traditional boating holiday, and it means busy lakes. TVA encourages everyone to get out and enjoy your holiday on the water—safely.
“Lots of boaters will be out enjoying the Fourth of July with friends and family on our waterways,” says David Brewster, manager of west operations for TVA Natural Resources and himself a frequent boater on Lake Guntersville. “Please make sure your navigation lights are operating properly and that you’re familiar with your surroundings above and below the water at all times.”
Also, follow general good boating practices. The no-brainer basics are: Always wear your Coast Guard-approved life vest and limit (or eliminate) alcohol intake, especially if you’re driving the boat. Exercise caution when you're boating near a dam.
Otherwise, make sure you know the rules of the road for recreational boaters. These are listed below, and should always be followed except in cases where deviating from them is absolutely necessary to avoid a collision:
Vessels that have the right-of-way, in order of priority, are:
Generally, the boat approaching from your right has the right-of-way. However, vessels restricted in maneuverability have the right-of-way over sailing vessels, and sailing vessels have the right-of-way over power vessels that are not restricted in maneuverability.
Rules excerpted from “Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers: A Boater’s Guide to Safe Travel,” produced by TVA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District