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Capsized boaters rescued from lake / May 22, 2019

Two boaters were rescued Saturday afternoon after their motorboat overturned at Bluestone Landing on Buggs Island Lake near Clarksville.

DGIF Conservation Officer Matthew Sandy said when officers arrived at the scene, they found the two clinging to their craft. Sandy said there were too many people and too much gear on the boat and the combination caused it to capsize.

The men were unharmed.

Incidents such as Saturday’s accident brings to light a hazard that may not be at the top of every boater’s list of concerns: passenger and load limits.

“There’s a reason every vessel has a plate showing the capacity limit. It’s there for your safety,” Sandy said. Each capacity plate includes the maximum number of adult persons, the maximum gross load, and the maximum size of engine, and horsepower, that your boat can legally carry.

Capsizing is one of the most common causes of non-fatal boating accidents. Overloading a boat can be dangerous. And the smaller the boat, the easier it is to become overloaded. Putting too many people and gear aboard reduces freeboard, increases instability and raises the risk of swamping in rough weather. Even in calm waters, an overloaded boat is more likely to capsize, especially if the boat makes an abrupt turn, or if someone on board suddenly shifts position.

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