This week is National Safe Boating Week. It kicked off right around the start of Florida’s boating season.
Captain Tom Shipp is with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Boating and Waterways Section. He says he anticipates a spike in boaters as they do every year with Memorial Day Weekend approaching, adding he just wants people to be safe.
“Florida has a year-round boating season, unlike many states,” said Shipp. “We have more vessels than any other states, and unfortunately, we lead the nation in the number of boating accidents.”
So, he has some boating safety recommendations, like wearing an inflatable life jacket.
“A lot of our fatalities every year are due to falls overboard and then they result in the victim drowning,” Shipp added. “If they were wearing their life jacket, their chances of survival would be so much better.”
Other safety tips include designating a boat operator who’s sober and can keep a proper lookout, having an emergency locator beacon, and taking a boating safety class. Shipp says more than 70 percent of boating victims involved in fatal accidents did not take a safety class.
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