News Releases

FWC encourages people to boat safely

News Release

Friday, May 15, 2015

Media contact: Lauren McCormack, 850-688-7518

Although Florida’s boating season never really ends, the traditional start is marked by National Safe Boating Week, from May 16-22. The week is a time for boaters to focus on simple, effective steps that make boating safer. These include paying close attention while operating a vessel and wearing a life jacket on the water. 

According to the recently released Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) 2014 Boating Accident Statistical Report, there were 634 reportable boating accidents in Florida last year, resulting in 73 fatalities.  

“Many of these accidents could have been prevented if the boat operators had paid attention to everything going on around their vessel, maintained a proper lookout and if everyone had been wearing a life jacket,” said Capt. Tom Shipp.

In many cases, life jackets were available but not utilized. This was true during two recent boating accidents where both adults and children ended up in the water.

As one victim recalls, “I thought my son would have to watch me die.”

Fortunately, FWC officers arrived on scene and were able to rescue the individuals. The father now says he will never go boating again without wearing a life jacket. The second incident, as with so many others, did not turn out as well.

“We live in a great boating state,” said Shipp. “And we believe that safety truly is the key to enjoyment.”

For a copy of the 2014 Boating Accident Statistical Report, visit MyFWC.com/Boating and select “Safety and Education” and “Boating Accidents.”



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