Sheriff's Office Offers Boating Safety Tips

NEWS RELEASE #: 16-103

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol will enhance education and enforcement along the county's waterways during National Safe Boating Week, May 21-27, through Memorial Day Weekend. Here are some tips for those heading out on the water:

CHECK SAFETY/RESCUE EQUIPMENT: This includes batteries, fire extinguishers, on-board electronics (VHF radios) and navigation lights.

BRING LIFE JACKETS: Make sure you have personal flotation devices (PFDs) for all aboard and make sure children under 6 years old wear a USCG-approved Type I, II or III properly fitting life jacket at all times.

WATCH THE SIGNS: Know how to read the red and green channel markers and watch for slow and no wake signs. These apply to all vessels.

PERMITS AND LICENSING: Make sure you have up-to-date fishing permits and registrations for your vessel. Know size requirements and what fish are in season.

ALCOHOL AND BOATING DON'T MIX: Consuming alcoholic beverages in excess will affect perception, reaction time and decision-making. Don't drink and boat!

FILE A FLOAT PLAN: If you will be on the water for an extended period of time let family or friends know about your plans and stay in touch with someone on shore. Download a float plan from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office web site. Under Crime Prevention select Safety Information and Boating Safety.

To view a video of SCSO's tips for boating safely, visit our YouTube channel at: