FWC urges caution for Labor Day boaters
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585
Labor Day traditionally marks the end of the summer
boating season, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) urges boaters to use extra caution over the
upcoming busy holiday.
"We want to mark the end of the summer on a high
note," said Capt. Carol Keyser of the FWC's Boating and Waterways
Section. "We're urging boaters to operate their vessels with
caution, know the navigation rules, have all the necessary safety
equipment on board, and wear life jackets. If you drink
alcohol, be sure to use a nondrinking designated driver and, most
importantly, pay close attention to what's going on around
Florida has about one million registered vessels,
and accident statistics are sobering. Florida recorded 65
boating fatalities in 2009, with almost 70 percent of the victims
drowning. Typically, deaths resulted from falling overboard or from
vessels capsizing or flooding. The FWC urges boaters to purchase an
inflatable life jacket and to wear it while boating.
Most of Florida's reportable boating accidents
involved a boat running into another boat, a fixed object, a person
in the water or a submerged object. The FWC reminds boat operators
to maintain a proper lookout at all times when on the water to
"Boating tragedies all too often mar holiday
weekends in Florida," Keyser said. "Operating your boat with
caution, knowing the navigation rules, choosing not to drink while
boating, and wearing a life jacket can help to ensure a fun, yet
safe, holiday weekend on the water."
The FWC and many of its boating safety partners
offer boating safety courses to the public. For information
on boating safety, call Capt. Carol Keyser at 850-488-5600, or
visit MyFWC.com/Boating or www.wearitflorida.com.