The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced that Florida continues to lead the nation and has passed the mark of 1 million registered recreational vessels across the state. Florida, with its great year-round weather and plenty of access to fresh and salt water, is the “Boating Capital of the World.” With more people calling Florida home and more vessels on the water, it’s important that residents and visitors practice safe boating.
The top five counties for vessel registration in Florida are Miami-Dade (74,622), Pinellas (53,867), Lee (50,304), Broward (47,741) and Hillsborough (41,495).
“Crossing the million mark just confirms what we always knew – Florida is the top state for boaters. And with more boats on the water, we want to spread the word about boating safety to both residents and visitors enjoying Florida’s year-round boating season,” said Maj. Rob Beaton, Boating and Waterways Section Leader. “A safe day while boating is a great day. Nothing can ruin a fun and memorable experience on the water faster than a boating accident.”
Boaters are encouraged to wear their life jackets, maintain 360-degree awareness and know the dangers (and penalties) for operating a vessel while impaired.
“Life-changing tragedies happen because individuals choose to operate a boat while impaired. Those tragedies are preventable,” said Maj. Beaton. “As law enforcement, it is our job to do all we can to ensure the safety of all boaters.”
If you plan to enjoy Florida’s beautiful waterways, check out MyFWC.com/Boating for boating safety tips. You can even search there for the Florida Boat Ramp Finder to help you find a great place to launch your boat!