MIAMI (WSVN) - Summer is here and so is boating season.
Police and rescue agencies throughout Miami-Dade County have teamed up just before Memorial Day Weekend to remind boaters about the rules of the water and offer safety tips.
In a news conference held on Watson Island Thursday morning, officials stressed the do’s and don’ts of the water.
“They need to be on a 360-degree awareness of what’s going on around them — that includes navigational hazards and other boats. We also recommend if you’re boating at night, be familiar with the area,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Ronald Washington.
The main concern for authorities is minimizing accidents, which can be avoided when boat passengers wear life jackets and avoiding boating under the influence.
“The number one cause of accidents in Miami-Dade County is operator inattention, so whoever the operator or boat captain is, is responsible for everybody else on that boat as well as their own safety,” said Washington.
The news conference comes less than a month after a couple died in Miami Beach near Government Cut after their boat capsized on the rocks of a jetty.
“We ask that all those in your vessel are aware of the VHF, how to use a VHF, have it tuned in to channel 16, which is your emergency broadcast channel. If you do have an emergency on the vessel, they know how to use it,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Captain Orestes Gonzalez.
Authorities also advise boaters to get a GPS locating device for the boat in case the Coast Guard needs to locate a lost boat that needs assistance.
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