As the weather warms, more Tennesseans will head to area waterways for some fun in the sun, and Tennessee wildlife officials want to remind boaters to follow basic safety precautions when they're on the water, especially in early spring when the water is still cold.
"Typically the danger with entering colder water is not hypothermia. It can take 20-30 minutes for hypothermia to affect your body. It's cold water shock. After 10 to 15 minutes of cold water, you lose the ability to control your muscles and therefore you can't swim," said Jeff Roberson with the TWRA.
TWRA officials also emphasize the need to wear a life jacket any time you're on a boat. They say if your boat capsizes, it's best to stay with it and wait for help instead of trying to swim for shore.