Memorial Day Boating Safety

News Release #: 17-121 - MAY 22, 2017

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’.