Bay County alliance encourages boating safety
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Media contact: Capt. Ken Parramore, 850-258-5996
The members of the Bay County Marine Boating
Alliance gathered Thursday morning at St. Andrews State Park to
focus attention on safe boating, particularly on the eve of
Memorial Day weekend, which traditionally is one of the busiest
boating periods of the year.
"The No. 1 thing people should do is wear a life
jacket," said Capt. Ken Parramore of the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC). "A life jacket will not stop
anyone from being in an accident, but it may save someone's life if
they go over the side."
Parramore is chairman of the alliance. Other
agency members of the boating coalition include the U.S. Coast
Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Florida Department of
Environmental Protection Park Police, cities of Panama City and
Panama City Beach and the Bay County Sheriff's Office.
"We know the message is getting out, because more
and more people are wearing their life jackets," Parramore
said. "Life jacket design has changed, and the inflatables
are more comfortable than they've ever been."
With Memorial Day and the expected crush of
thousands of boaters on Florida waters this weekend, Parramore said
boaters should have a non-drinking operator.
He was appreciative of the Red Elephant Pizza and
Grill and their sponsorship of the alliance's boating safety
campaign. From now through the end of September, officers
patrolling in Bay County will reward any young person they see
wearing a life jacket, with a card redeemable for a kid's meal at
the Panama City restaurant.