Memorial Day Weekend in South Florida is one of the busiest weekends on the water for boaters. Because of this, it’s extremely important to keep boating safety in mind. Here are some quick boating safety tips that will ensure you and your loved ones have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. 

1. Everyone needs a life jacket.
Yes, everyone! Make sure you have enough life jackets to accommodate everyone on your boat. Over 80% of drownings are the result of not wearing a life jacket. You never know when an emergency situation will occur, so it’s wise to be prepared. 

2. File a float plan, or tell someone where you’re going.
This is something you should do each time you take your boat out. That way, the Coast Guard, along with local law enforcement, will have the ability to start a search quickly if something goes awry. 

3. Have a designated sober skipper.
Drinking while boating is a huge problem in Florida, so it’s important to designate a sober skipper who can take the wheel. 

4. Keep an eye out for dive flags.
Did you know you can be fined $90 for coming too close to a diver?

5. Monitor the weather.
Before you head out, check the forecast so you know what to expect. While you’re out on the water, check the weather regularly. In Florida, a sunny day can turn into a windy thunderstorm within minutes. 

During Memorial Day Weekend, expect to see extra patrols on the water. Don’t be alarmed if you’re stopped for a routine check. This is just a precautionary measure to make sure everyone is boating safely. 

Last but not least, enjoy the long weekend! Happy boating!