FWC Urges Boat Safety for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff of the summer season, and South Florida is already getting prepared by urging boat safety in the water.

Florida is the boating capital of the world and leads the nation with nearly 1 million registered vessels.

But with all those boats comes the potential for tragic boating accidents. Last year, falling overboard was the leading cause of boating injuries or fatalities.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservasion Commission is promoting National Safe Boating Week as a time to focus on simple and effective steps to make boating safer.

"A lot of our fatalities every year are simple falls overboard where the end result is the drowning of the victim," said Captain Tom Shipp of FWC. "If they'd been wearing a life jacket, their likelihood of surviving would have been so much better."

The FWC wants boaters to enjoy their time on the water, but to also take all the necessary precautions.

They recommend wearing a life jacket, using an engine cut-off switch lanyard, designating a sober boat operator, paying attention and keeping a proper lookout, having an emergency locator beacon, filing a float plan and taking a boating safety class.

For more safety tips from the FWC, visit them on the web.

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