FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Many boaters are expected to be out enjoying the waters off South Florida during Memorial Day Weekend. The U.S. Coast Guard showed 7News how they will patrol the area to keep everyone safe.

Officials are trying to make this holiday weekend a safe one on and off the water as tourists flock to South Florida’s beaches. “I really like it,” said tourist April Luna. “I wish I was living here.”

“I’m enjoying the beach, I’m enjoying the weather,” said another visitor. “I’m enjoying the atmosphere.”

South Florida beaches, including Fort Lauderdale, are about to get a little bit more lively. “Saturday will be our Great American Beach Party. And then we’ll have activities all day Saturday,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Asst. Chief Michael Gregory. “Then rolls right into Memorial Day on Monday.”

Fort Lauderdale Police, however, want to remind visitors and residents alike that there are rules in place. “There will be alcohol beverages allowed on the A1A area on Saturday, but Saturday only,” Gregory said. “It’s not all weekend long.”

Officials said alcohol will not be allowed on the beach. “It will be enforced, and we’ll have an extra contingency of officers on patrol, making sure everybody’s having an enjoyable time,” Gregory said.

While some are planning to soak up the sun on land, others will take to the water on boat. “Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the unofficial start of boating season,” said U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss. “So this year, the Coast Guard is asking boaters to be mindful while you’re out there. There’s gonna be a lot of boaters on the water this weekend.”

Boaters are expected to watch speed, not drink while boating and carry safety equipment on board. “It’s a family weekend, a family occasion,” Gregory said. “We just want everyone to have a good, safe time.”

Fort Lauderdale Police officers will have a strong presence, not only on the beach, but on the roads. Officials said those who plan on drinking should not drive.

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