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Boaters urged to stay safe on waterways

FWC: Taking precautions before taking the boat out can save lives

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Play it safe while boating. That's the message the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is sending out ahead of the busy Memorial Day weekend.

FWC officers said that each year, they respond to tragic and preventable boating accidents. Reports show there were 628 boating accidents last year in Florida, which is down from 766 in 2017. 

National Safe Boating Week is May 18 through May 24 and it's a great time for boaters to check their gear and take the following safety precautions:

  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Use an engine cut-off switch lanyard.
  • Designate a sober boat operator.
  • Pay attention and keep a proper lookout.
  • Have an emergency locator beacon.
  • File a float plan.
  • Take a boating safety class.

FWC officials said boat operatiors not paying attention to what they're doing is the leading cause of boating accidents. 

Boaters who see others on the water boating dangerously can call 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text Tip@MyFWC.com.