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#1389311 - 06/30/09 07:14 PM You ever know this?
Dr. Dickel
12 Point


Registered: 11/22/02
Posts: 5153
Loc: Hockins County

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Inner tube rider on Holston ticketed for not wearing life jacketBy Kevin Castle


Published June 27th, 2009 | 44 Comments








A leisurely inner tube ride down the Holston River has turned into a court case for a Kingsport man.

Mike Yates, 37, was given a citation from an officer with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on June 7 for not wearing a life jacket or other effective life preserver once he exited the river following a floating party trip that included 11 people.

The ticket says Yates was in violation of Tennessee Code Section 69-9-204, which defines the inner tube he was riding as a “vessel” and requires anyone riding them to wear a life preserver, buoyant vest or life belt.

“I’ve been out on that river since I was old enough to be away from my mom, and I have never once heard of having to wear a life jacket on an inner tube while floating down the river,” said Yates.

But that’s not the way the TWRA sees it.

“Anytime you are in a vessel or operating a vessel, you are required to have a wearable flotation device on board,” said TWRA Wildlife Resource Officer Glen Moates, who is headquartered at the agency’s main office in Nashville.

“Depending on what county you are in, the fines for that violation will vary,” Moates said. “Usually, it is enough to cover court costs itself, but it is different broken down county by county.

“Things like an inner tube or a raft fit into the broad definition of a vessel. Things like jet skis or Sea-Doos are called personal watercraft. Vessel means every description of watercraft other than a sea plane on the water used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water.”

What that means for Yates is a fine of $198.

“We got out at Netherland Inn Bridge, and they tell us that there is a (TWRA) officer out there. I said, ‘OK,’ because I figured they were going to check and see if we were drinking or something, which we were not. We were just having a good time with our families,” said Yates.

Two juveniles were among the 11 individuals riding inner tubes that day down the Holston, including one of Yates’ children, and they were wearing life jackets.

“We had six life jackets, and he proceeded to tell us about needing to have a life jacket on. (The TWRA officer) told us he was going to give us a break and just give one of us a ticket, so I stepped up right away and decided to take it,” said Yates.

“There is not a lot of material or awareness that TWRA has done to make this known. If it is a vessel, I think it should have a registration number on it, and if you operate it after dark, you have to have lights on it. How do you put lights on an inner tube? I just think there are a lot of questions here.”

Yates did note that members of his tubing party have agreed to help him pay the fine if he is found guilty in the case, which will be heard next month.
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#1389347 - 06/30/09 07:48 PM Re: You ever know this? [Re: Dr. Dickel]
RUGER Administrator
Mouse Killa
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Registered: 11/19/99
Posts: 4104337
Loc: TN

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Hmmmm, I thought it had to be "under power" to require a life vest.
Learn something new every day.
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#1389925 - 07/01/09 08:37 AM Re: You ever know this? [Re: RUGER]
imograss
4 Point


Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 447
Loc: Lyles Tennessee

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hopefully they will throw this out, and give that officer something better to do.
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#1390118 - 07/01/09 10:02 AM Re: You ever know this? [Re: imograss]
Radar
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 31145
Loc: Kansas City, Mo.

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I would think the inner tube was a floatation devise . I don't really agree with the ticket or calling it a vessel .
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#1390254 - 07/01/09 11:25 AM Re: You ever know this? [Re: Radar]
spitndrum
Team TLBB Woodpile Boys
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Registered: 03/09/06
Posts: 51368
Loc: Cumberland Plateau

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I float the lil Piegon alot matter of fact did it last weeekend and made fun of grown men with life jackets on!!!!
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#1390270 - 07/01/09 11:35 AM Re: You ever know this? [Re: spitndrum]
Football Hunter
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Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 25303
Loc: Wilson Co/Perry Co

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seems like there is something better to do
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#1390460 - 07/01/09 01:15 PM Re: You ever know this? [Re: Football Hunter]
comprifleshooter
8 Point


Registered: 11/09/04
Posts: 1156
Loc: Westmoreland

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That's messed up.
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#1390562 - 07/01/09 02:08 PM Re: You ever know this? [Re: comprifleshooter]
showmehorns
16 Point


Registered: 10/23/02
Posts: 15917
Loc: usually in the woods

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Something tells me this is a HUGE waste of time for the agency.
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#1391501 - 07/02/09 09:09 AM Re: You ever know this? [Re: showmehorns]
Zeek
10 Point


Registered: 09/30/08
Posts: 2503
Loc: Nashville TN

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Waste of time and money!
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#1391515 - 07/02/09 09:23 AM Re: You ever know this? [Re: Zeek]
JCDEERMAN
14 Point


Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 8370
Loc: NASHVILLE, TN

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Huge waste of time. Some officers feel they have unlimited power, which eats me alive. I'm sure they could find many more things to do than something this petty
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