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Summer Boating: How to stay safe and avoid breaking the law

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Memorial day and the official beginning of summer is right around the corner. Many people are probably planning boating trips this summer. Do you know how to keep your friends and family safe?

On Tuesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission invited local media on their boats to share safety information with the community. 

“There’s a lot of factors that can make a beautiful day go bad really really fast,” FWC Public Information Officer Robert Ramos said. “With the upcoming memorial day weekend, that’s the unofficial kick off to what we consider the true boating season.”

Before you leave, check the weather forecasts. “You can put yourself in a predicament if you’re not watching for thunderstorms and wave changes and wave heights,” Ramos said. Also, know where your safety equipment is. “So when the emergency hits, you don’t have to panic and you have a plan for that situation,” he said.

A life jacket for each person, flare, throwable cushion, fire extinguisher, your license, and registration are all required by law.

Officials said drivers not paying attention is the number one cause of boating accidents in Florida.

“We want that operator to pay attention to their surroundings, to boating traffic, to waves.”

You can read more about how to stay safe on the water here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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