JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s National Safe Boating Week — and officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are reminding boaters to play it safe on the water.
Officer Revor Hausler said he’s on the water most days in the summer.
“We’re gonna be patrolling, especially these heavily congested traffic areas like Julington Creek and Fort George Inlet, Sisters Creek, that area,” Hausler said.
He said too much traffic on the waterways is a regular problem over the Memorial Day weekend — along with impaired operators.
“We’re just trying to make sure people boat sober,” he said. “Impaired operating is dangerous and it’s something we look for every day.”
To stay safe on the water, FWC suggests boaters first create a float plan.
“Let your friends and family know where you’re gonna be, when you’re gonna be there and when you plan on coming back,” Hausler said. “That’s the No. 1 tip we can give. That gives us a head start. If something were to happen, we know where to start looking.”
And he urged boaters to maintain a proper lookout.
“Have someone that can visually maintain 360 degrees of the vessel at all times,” Hausler said.
Also, have a safety checklist, which can be found on the FWC’s website.
“The No. 1 most important thing is a PFD (personal flotation device) for every single person on board,” Hausler said.
And -- a fire extinguisher.
Every boat has a limit, and it’s important for boaters to know those limitations.
“Don’t exceed your vessel’s capabilities,” Hausler said. “Every vessel has a capability and every operator has a capability. Know what that is and don’t exceed that. The water can be a dangerous place to play.”