More FWC patrols on the water for busy Labor Day weekend

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of boaters were out on the water Sunday during this Labor Day Weekend.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it has extra officers patrolling to make sure the waters stay safe.

Today was an extremely busy day on the water,” said Officer Wayne Sapp, who has been patrolling the waters of northeast Florida for 10 years as an FWC officer.

Sapp there’s one thing he always looks for first.

“I look for clues, like if the boat has too many people on it, based on the size of the boat,” he said. “Every boat has a capacity plate.”

News4Jax rode along with one of the officers as they pulled over more than five boaters for either going too fast in a manatee slow zone or for not having tags on their boats.

“Whether it be a slow speed zone or not, when it’s congested you have to use extra care,” Sapp said.

They also responded to an accident near Saw Pit Creek Boat Ramp, near the Nassau County line after a call came in from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office as a boat crashed into a channel marker. Eight people people were on board, one of whom was a child who was taken to Shands hospital downtown.

Officials remind boaters to always have life vests, a fire extinguisher and boat registration ready in case an officer stops you.

About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.