Because Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off summer activities, is right around the corner, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds all boaters in Florida to rededicate themselves to boating safely.
“Florida is a great place to enjoy boating year-round,” said Col. Jim Brown, director of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “That weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer and means even more people will be out on the water. National Safe Boating Week (May 19-25) also presents an opportunity to emphasize the importance of remaining safe while boating.”
Memorial Day weekend for 2012 is May 26-28.
The safe-boating effort is timely, as 10 people have already lost their lives this year due to boating accidents.
“We want to reach out to as many boaters as we can to help them understand that most boating accidents are preventable,” Brown said. “FWC officers are committed to keeping people as safe as possible, but we need your help.”
The FWC reminds boaters to enjoy their time on the water by remembering a few safety precautions, such as remaining alert while operating a boat, wearing a life jacket at all times and designating a sober boat operator.
According to the FWC, inattentiveness of the operator often contributes to boating accidents, and statistics show that more than 64 percent of the 66 boating-related deaths confirmed last year were attributed to drowning.
The wide variety of comfortable, affordable and stylish life jackets on the market today offers all boaters the protection they need.
“Boating smart and safely could result in fewer injuries and deaths each year,” Brown said.
More information can be found by visiting MyFWC.com/Boating.