FWC Urge Boaters To Be Safe During Fourth of July

Sebastian and Vero Beach boaters are urged to be safe during Fourth of July.
Sebastian and Vero Beach boaters are urged to be safe during Fourth of July. (Photo: Andy Hodges)

SEBASTIAN, Florida – During the Fourth of July holiday, many people take to the water to celebrate Independence Day in Sebastian and Vero Beach.

The warm, sunny days of summer combined with viewing fireworks puts many more boats and people on the water in close proximity to one another.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) urges boaters to use caution while boating on this busy holiday.

Many boating accidents are caused by inattentiveness or improper lookout.

“Boat operators have a personal responsibility to make sure their passengers are safe and they are not creating a hazard for other boaters,” said Capt. Gary Klein, Florida’s boating law administrator. “We all expect to have a good time when we celebrate the Fourth of July. No one expects anything to go wrong, but that can all change in an instant if someone is not paying attention or is operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

During this weekend, boaters can expect to see an enhanced law enforcement presence and increased messaging about safe boating practices.

Beginning July 1, Floridians have another great reason to purchase and register an emergency locator beacon. Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature have instituted discounted vessel registration fees for anyone who owns a recreational vessel equipped with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or a Personal Locator Beacon.

“For many boaters an EPRIB or PLB can make a big difference if an emergency occurs,” said Klein. “These devices send a signal via satellite to search-and-rescue agencies so rescuers can more quickly locate the boaters in need.”

More information on EPIRBs is available at MyFWC.com/Boating by clicking on “Safety and Education.”

More information on the new discounted vessel registration law can be found at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.
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