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FWC scouring for impaired boaters on Memorial Day weekend

FWC officers give advice on how to stay safe on the water.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — There’s a trend on the water. Fewer boating accidents happened 2021 in Florida than 2020, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife data.

There are more registered boaters in the state of Florida than any other state. many will be out on the water for Memorial Day weekend. 

First thing you should do before you get out on the water is have your life jacket. FWC officer Trevor Hausler says make sure everyone on board has a life jacket.

“Safety is our number one concern," Hausler said. 

FWC officers are scouring the waters for drunk drivers. Yes, they can take you off the water and straight to jail.

“We are just out here trying to make sure people boat sober," Hausler said. "It’s dangerous and it’s only we look for every day."

Hausler says before you get on the boat, designate a sober driver.

Check off everything on the boat checklist, some of which includes:

  • A horn, bell or whistle for a boat over 16 feet
  • Flares
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Float plan: let people know when you’re leaving, where you’ll be and when they should expect you back.

It’s beautiful out on the water but Hausler says it can be dangerous. 

“We are going to be on the water pretty much the entire weekend," Hausler said. "We are going to be patrolling especially as heavily congested trafficked areas like Julington Creek and Fort George Inlet and Sisters Creek... that area. We are going to be there and we are going to be looking for violations and impaired operators”

You can read up on FWC's checklist here.

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