This year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to make sure you’re thinking about safety before you set sail.
According to the FWC, the most important thing for you to do on a boat is to wear your life jacket.
“There’s so much misconception about life jackets, that they’re bulky or inconvenient,” said Gabriella Ferraro, spokeswoman for the FWC.
Ferraro said there are many different life jacket options, including many that are streamlined so you won’t have any trouble using your arms.
The FWC also wants to remind you not to drink and drive on the water.
“Impairment is a huge issue. About 20 percent of boating accidents involve alcohol or drug use,” said Ferraro. “If you’re going to be operating a vessel, stay away from alcohol or drugs.”
According to the FWC, there are more than one million registered boats in Florida, which means the state’s waterways are going to be crowded.
“This is the busy boating season,” said Ferraro. “We want folks to know is that carelessness and inattentiveness are the leading causes of boating accidents around the state.”
Ferraro said there were 600 boating accidents in Florida last year. Of those accidents, she said 70 were fatal.
“Just take some time to pay attention,” she said. “Always be aware of your surroundings, make sure your vessel registration is in order and current, make sure you’ve got all boating safety equipment up to date and accessible on your vessel. Then you’re well on your way to having a safe and enjoyable day on the water.”
Another fairly new requirement from the FWC is Boater Safety ID cards. These are for anyone born in or after 1988. You can learn how to get one by visiting: http://myfwc.com/boating/safety-education/boater-education-id
Read more by visiting WPBF: http://www.wpbf.com/summer/28391425/detail.html#ixzz1RFDQ3zUZ