FWC: Statistics show, safe boating saves lives 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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For immediate release: May 16, 2019
Statewide media contact: Carol Lyn Parrish, 850-556-2269 or CarolLyn.Parrish@MyFWC.com

Regional media contacts:
Northwest Region: Rebekah Nelson, 850-890-2806 or Rebekah.Nelson@MyFWC.com
North Central Region: Karen Parker, 386-754-1294 or Karen.Parker@MyFWC.com
Northeast Region: Greg Workman, 352-239-2763 or Greg.Workman@MyFWC.com
Southwest Region: Melody Kilborn, 863-227-3830 or Melody.Kilborn@MyFWC.com
South Region: Carol Lyn Parrish, 850-556-2269 or CarolLyn.Parrish@MyFWC.com

Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: http://bit.ly/2pWsgVr

Videos available: Tony’s testimonial: http://bit.ly/2rfCXHb
PJ’s testimonial: http://bit.ly/2pWHn0S
Larry’s testimonial: http://bit.ly/2qsybVV
360-degree awareness: http://bit.ly/2qsIppt
Life Jacket PSA 1: http://bit.ly/2pUBiTu
Life Jacket PSA 2: http://bit.ly/2qsNJJm
Life Jacket PSA 3: http://bit.ly/2pLDTTE

Suggested Tweet: The @MyFWC looks at stats and promotes safe #boating during National Safe Boating Week! https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/2454e80 #wearitflorida #Florida 

FWC: Statistics show, safe boating saves lives 

With National Safe Boating week and the release of the 2018 Boating Accident Statistical Report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages boaters to focus on simple, effective steps that make boating safer.

Though Florida’s boating season never really ends, Memorial Day weekend marks the traditional start nationwide and is a great opportunity to focus on safety. With nearly 1 million registered boats in the state, people safely enjoy boating every day. However, each year, FWC officers respond to tragic and preventable boating accidents.

“National Safe Boating Week is May 18-24,” said Maj. Rob Rowe, leader of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “It presents an opportunity to emphasize the importance of remaining safe while boating.”

Boaters can safely enjoy their time on the water by taking the following safety precautions, including:

  • Wearing a life jacket.
  • Using an engine cut-off switch lanyard.
  • Designating a sober boat operator.
  • Paying attention and keeping a proper lookout.
  • Having an emergency locator beacon.
  • Filing a float plan.
  • Taking a boating safety class.

“Inattention of the boat operator continues to be the leading cause of boating accidents, according to our statistical report,” Rowe said. “It is critical for operators to be aware of what is going on around them.”

The report also indicates there were 628 accidents last year, down from 766 in 2017.

 “Our officers are committed to keeping people as safe as possible, but we need boaters’ help,” Rowe said. “We want boaters to understand that most boating accidents are preventable.”

To report people who are boating dangerously, call 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text Tip@MyFWC.com. More information can be found by visiting MyFWC.com/Boating. You can even search there for the Florida Public Boat Ramp Finder to help you find a great place to launch your boat.

The FWC is responsible for reviewing, analyzing and compiling boating accident data for the state. Its statistical report details boating accidents and their causes. The theme of accident-related messages from FWC staff is clear: Officers want to help keep Florida’s beautiful waterways a safe place to boat.

For a copy of the 2018 Boating Accident Statistical Report, visit MyFWC.com/Boating and select “Safety & Education” and “Boating Accidents.”


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