Over the Memorial Day holiday this year, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers removed approximately 100 unsafe and impaired vessel operators across the state of Florida for boating under the influence and responded to over 30 boating accidents. Thankfully, there were zero fatalities reported during this time.
“I credit the visibility and the hard work of our officers and partner agencies educating the public, removing impaired boaters from behind the wheel and responding quickly to accidents. Nothing would make me happier than to report the number zero every year,” said Lt. Col. Brian Smith, Acting Director of the FWC Division of Law Enforcement. “Florida is considered the boating and fishing capital of the world for good reason. Operating a vessel while impaired not only puts yourself and everyone on board in danger but also everyone else around you trying to enjoy a great weekend on the water.”
FWC officers were laser-focused on boating safety enforcement over the busy holiday weekend. Statewide, officers issued more than 4,000 warnings and nearly 900 citations for boating violations. They responded to more than 40 emergency calls for assistance and search and rescue.
The FWC reminds all boaters to enjoy time with friends and family but do so safely and don’t forget to designate a sober operator before departing from the dock.
For more information about boating safety, visit MyFWC.com/Boating and select “Boater Education” then “Boating Safety.”