Memorial Day Boating Safety

News Release #: 17-121

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit will be monitoring area waterways this Memorial Day weekend to ensure boaters and those operating personal watercrafts stay safe. Here are a few tips for those heading out on the water.

LIFE JACKETS: Make sure you have personal flotation devices (PFDs) for all aboard and make sure children under 6 wear a USCG-approved, properly fitting life jacket while the vessel is underway.

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

PROPER SAFETY/RESCUE EQUIPMENT: Check batteries, on-board electronics (radios) and navigation lights to ensure all are in working order.

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

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.

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 website by visiting and clicking ‘Crime Prevention’, then ‘Safety Information’ and finally, ‘Boating Safety’.