By Ashley Cox
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)–The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit will be monitoring waterways this Memorial Day weekend to ensure boaters and watercraft safety.
The Marine Unit give tips to to help ensure safety to those heading out on the water:
  • The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit will be monitoring area waterways this Memorial Day weekend to ensure boaters and those operating personal watercrafts stay safe. Here are a few tips for those heading out on the water.
  • LIFE JACKETS: Make sure you have personal flotation devices (PFDs) for everyone aboard, and make sure children under six years old wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved, properly fitting life jacket while the vessel is underway.
  • ALCOHOL AND BOATING DON’T MIX: Consuming alcoholic beverages will affect perception, reaction time and decision-making. Don’t drink and boat!
  • PROPER SAFETY/RESCUE EQUIPMENT: Check batteries, on-board electronics (radios) and navigation lights to ensure all are in working order. Remember to bring along the necessary number of fire extinguishers.
  • PERMITS AND LICENSING: Make sure you have up-to-date fishing licenses and marine decals for your vessel. Be familiar with size requirements and what fish are in season.
  • WATCH THE SIGNS: Know how to read the red and green channel markers, and watch for slow and no wake signs. These apply to all vessels including jet skis.
  • FILE A FLOAT PLAN: If you will be on the water for an extended period of time, let family or friends know about your plans, and stay in touch with someone on shore. Download a float plan from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website.

Residents can also view our safe boating video by visiting YouTube.com/SarasotaSheriff.