PUNTA GORDA, Fla -- As usual, you can expect a lot of beer, people, boats, and officers on the water. For the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, this year it’s all about operation ‘Knot Lit,’ yes kids, 'Knot lit. A Florida Sheriffs Task Force initiative for enhanced enforcement that will run through the 4th of July holiday weekend.
But while the operation name might be playful, Corporal Brad Stender, who's with the CCSO Marine Unite and the rest of the CCSO deputies are taking their work seriously.
"Our number one goal is public safety, and we’re trying to curb as many BUI’s as possible," Corporal Stender said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife tell Fox 4, last year 20% of boating accidents were alcohol-related. Mix that in with the heat, a bunch of people, it can get a little crazy…
"There are fights on sandbars, there are people crashing, there are drunk drivers. It’s the same as being out on the road," Corporal Stender said.
So just in case, there’s an emergency, Stender says there are a few items they’ll be checking, such as life jackets, fire extinguisher, and a throwable cushion that needs to be out.
Deputies say another element to think about is unexpected showers, and to have a plan where you’re always telling people where you’re going to be, just in case something happens, they’ll know where to look. CCSO deputies say they want you to have a good time, just do it responsibly.
"Everyone’s out to have a good time, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but we just want to make sure everyone is doing something safely, and have a sober driver when they do so," Corporal Stender said.