News Releases

Nighttime boating safety event set for Lee, Charlotte counties

News Release

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-648-3852

On June 6 and 7, nighttime boating safety patrols in Lee and Charlotte counties will focus on ensuring those operating after dark have properly functioning navigation lights and safety equipment that meets required standards.

The goal of the event is to reduce the risk of accidents as well as inform the public about the importance of their vessel being lit properly.

“Operating a boat at night requires specialized knowledge, navigation lights that burn brightly and an added awareness of one’s surroundings to ensure a safe night afloat,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Lt. Jonathan Ruggiero, supervising coordinator for the multi-agency effort.

"Anything less than attention to these details can result in an accident and possibly a loss of life,” Ruggiero added.

Officers from the FWC and its partners from the Lee County Marine Law Enforcement Task Force (Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Myers Police Department, Cape Coral Police Department, Sanibel Police Department), the Punta Gorda Police Department and Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office will be checking vessels from Charlotte Harbor to Estero Bay.

As a reminder, the FWC encourages all those who enjoy the waters of Southwest Florida to “Boat Smart,” no matter the time of day or night, by taking a few simple safety precautions.

  • Always make sure you have properly working navigation lights, a sound-producing device and enough life jackets, flares and fire extinguishers.
  • Always have a float plan that ensures someone knows where you are going and when you will return.
  • Always carry a VHF radio and GPS to ensure that you can communicate and be found if you need help.

For a list of required safety gear and lighting requirements, please visit MyFWC.com/Boating and select “Safety & Education” and then “Safety Equipment” and click on the appropriate link for your size vessel.



FWC Facts:
Manatees have heavy bones that help them to submerge easily while grazing. They can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes at a time.

Learn More at AskFWC