News Releases

Bay County alliance encourages boating safety

News Release

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.

FWC Facts:
The Marine Fisheries Stock Enhancement program breeds and rears game fish and mollusks for release into marine waters and evaluates the use of hatchery-reared animals.

Learn More at AskFWC