Breakout 2b: Boating Disasters

  • Breakout Room 2

Captain Matt Majors
Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency

Many SAR agencies have been skeptical about TWRA involvement in recovery cases.  The attendee will learn how/why TWRA would be on scene and how we can use our tools (ROV) to help them achieve their mission. The goal of this presentation is to inform the learner of this new/emerging technology, when/where it can be used, and the time/cost savings for each department of medical/first responders. Students will also learn how TWRA can assist with search recovery as requested but will not be the lead on those operation.

Matt is a statewide boating accident investigator for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.  His role is to assist officers or lead serious injury/fatality/high profile boating investigations throughout the state with the help from two other investigators.  Matt also handles marine theft issues and boating training throughout the state.  He is currently the statewide coordinator for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Honor Guard and an active member of the TWRA dive team.

 During his service, Matt has been stationed near some of the busiest boating lakes in Tennessee and has been the lead investigator on over 100 property damage, serious injury, and fatality incidents.  His investigations have lead to the prosecution of charges including vehicular homicide, criminally negligent homicide, felony vehicular assault, boating under the influence, felony leaving the scene of an accident with injury, navigation rules violations, reckless operation of a vessel, and various other charges.

 Matt began his career in law-enforcement after graduating from Tennessee Technological University with a BS degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science.  He was employed by the North Carolina State Parks as a State Ranger for 4 years before moving back to Tennessee as a Wildlife Officer for Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.   Matt was the recipient of the 2005 Tennessee Wildlife Officer of the Year award and the 2005 SEAFWA Wildlife Officer of the Year. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Tennessee State Boating Officer of the Year.

 Matt is a current instructor in Tennessee for subjects in the field of Marine Theft, NASBLA Boat Accident Investigation and Boating under the Influence Detection, Emergency Vessel Operations, Close Quarters Boat Handling, and Open Water Boat Handling. 

 Matt, currently a NASBLA instructor for the Boat Accident Investigation Program, is also the Committee Chair for the NASBLA Enforcement and Training Committee.  He has served on this committee for the past three years.  He has also participated in the NASBLA staged boat collision project in 2009.