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ON HOLIDAY: Boating safety top of mind in SW Florida over Memorial Day weekend

There are plenty of options to get better at boating around Southwest Florida, including the Freedom Boat Club.
Posted at 6:49 PM, May 27, 2024

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Monday night, FOX 4 was getting a better idea of just how busy this Memorial holiday weekend was on the water around Southwest Florida.

In fact the Lee County Sheriff's Office says, from Saturday until this Memorial Day, just before noon, they received 4,374 calls, and that number includes calls on the water.

The agency also shared this incredible sight from the air over Boca Grande Sunday.

It's a really visual representation of why Max Christian's work is so important.

He's a Coast Guard certified Captain, teaching people on the water how to avoid danger.

"The primary cause [of danger], most likely, on holiday weekends, is alcohol related," he said.

No surprise, there were plenty of people partaking in that, albeit safely, on Fort Myers Beach on Memorial Day.

Fort Myers Beach Memorial Day 2024
A view of Fort Myers Beach on Memorial Day, 2024.

"I realize drinking is a big part of it, and that's where a lot of mishaps happen," Dino Haynes, one man on the beach said.

Baine Dionne also spent the holiday on FMB and studied marine biology in college.

"It's really big to be safe on the water always, of course for ourselves, but also for the sea life," Dionne said.

Kyle Svarczkopf is another we met of Fort Myers Beach.

"Another thing here in Florida is Sun Safety. Many people don't take it seriously when they come down here and visit, but they don't understand it gets really hot out here," he said.

BOATING SAFETY: Freedom Boat Club talks water wisdom

The Freedom Boat Club where Captain Max works, is teaching that safety on the water.

"We will take you out and we will spend 3 hours on the water, these classes are certified by NASBLA. That's the same agency that certifies the state of Florida boating," Captain Christian said.

That includes crossing on the correct side of the markers knowing how to avoid sandbars, navigating without cell reception, and so much more.