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First responders urge boating safety as summer approaches

Posted at 9:29 AM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 09:31:21-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, Lee County's first responders are urging you to be safe and responsible as you navigate our beautiful water.

Representatives from Florida Fish & Wildlife, the U.S. Coast Guard and Iona-McGregor joined Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno Thursday, in the middle of National Boating Safety Week, in a public reminder of water safety tips that everyone should heed.

FWC says 60% of all boating deaths are connected with drowning, and the simplest way to avoid it is to wear a life jacket.

Marceno added that knowing your surroundings is a key aspect of staying safe on the waves, along with taking boater safety courses before you ever step aboard.

If your recreation plans involve drinking alcohol, they advise you have a designated boater on the water, just as you would have a designated driver on the road.

Iona officials said if someone does fall into the water, your best bet is to stay close to the boat. It makes it easier for rescuers to find you.

It's also essential to shut off the engine's motor, to prevent propeller blades from hitting and injuring or killing someone who went overboard.

Common sense and a bit of planning go a long way to keep your summer holidays safe as well as fun.