BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)– With Memorial Day Approaching, thousands are expected to flock to the white sugar sand beaches and explore the emerald Gulf waters.
May 21 through May 27, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission facilities National Boating Safety Week.
According to the FWC annual report, Florida was the state with the most boating accidents, the highest amount of boating accidents occurred during the month of May.
60% of deaths associated with boating accidents were attributed to a person drowning.
“Many people who rent boats in our area are often on vacation and have limited experience boating which can lead to accidents,” said FWC officer, Nicole Basford.
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission joined News 13 This Morning for live updates on how to boat responsibly during the holiday and for the rest of the summer season.
Officer Nicole Basford said if the FWC approaches a boat for an inspection, officers will look for several items on the vessel, including a fire extinguisher, personal flotation device (PFD) or life jackets, Type IV throw cushion, sound-producing device and flares. They’ll also check for a valid boating and fishing license.
Basford said you can expect increased enforcement on the water this weekend when it comes to safety checks. Officers will also be on the lookout for boaters under the influence.
“Operating a boat is just like a car, and if you are boating you need to be responsible and designate a sober captain, and have a lookout as well to watch for snorkelers and divers,” she said.
Boaters born after Jan. 1, 1988 are also required to partake in a boating safety course. Officers recommend those born before that date also partake. For more information on how you can register click here.