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Families discuss boater safety as authorities increase patrols over holiday weekend

Boater safety
Posted at 2:53 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 18:37:30-04

PUNTA RASSA, Fla. — On Friday, safety, a number one concern for families on the water headed into Memorial Day weekend.

Boaters like Samantha Hays already preparing for the busy weekend at the Punta Rassa Boat Ramp.

“It will probably be pretty busy,” said Hays.

A common expectation for many boaters in Southwest Florida including Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

“We know people are coming from all over into an already busy grid,” said Marceno.

Sheriff Marceno said his office is increasing patrols on the water and on land over the weekend.

“Our marine unit is going to be out in full force we have details throughout the county along the causeway, in parks. We are going to have undercover detectives undercover patrol men going out there to make certain that when you don't see someone, don't worry someone is watching,” said Marceno.

Sheriff Marceno said patrols will include looking out for anyone driving/boating under the influence or putting others in harm's way.

Families like Samantha Hays tell me one of the number one things they look out for, is other boaters.

“We definitely are on the lookout for the rental boats and making sure that those people are being safe as well as keeping ourselves safe," said Hays.

A Fort Myers local, Samantha Hays, said a lot of the extra crowd comes from families visiting for the weekend.

On Friday, Michele Krogman and her family made their way to Punta Rassa from Orlando.

“We live on a lake, it's going to be busy on the lake, so we might as well come to some beautiful saltwater,” said Krogman.

Krogman agrees with Hays that looking out for other boaters is a top priority for her family over the weekend.

Krogman's grandaughter is already aware of the potential dangers of the water.

“I was surfing behind my dad's boat and this jet ski got really, absolute jerks, they just sped like 5 feet really close to me,” she said.

Moments families want to avoid and Sheriff Marceno advises against.

“We want you to enjoy our beaches we want you to enjoy your families we just want you to do it safely,” said Marceno.