SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - With weather like this, it’s no wonder our Suncoast waterways end up getting clogged with lots of us getting out on the gulf, and bays and rivers. Next weekend is Memorial Day, and those waterways will be getting even more crowded. But a day of boating leisure can turn tragic. That’s why different agencies held a free boating inspection on Saturday.
“We’re here to promote boating safety, to make sure everyone carries and maintains the safety equipment required on board by state law,” said Officer Michael Skinner from the Sarasota Police Department.
Hundreds are expected to hit the water on Memorial Day, so in order to be safe, rather than sorry, Sarasota Police, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Coast Guard went boat to boat at the Centennial Park Boat Ramp a week early, so boaters can be prepared for the holiday rush.
“We’re giving people the opportunity this week to meet the standards requirements through state law, to have their life jackets, fire extinguishers, your noise makers, having your registration on board, make sure your decals are in the correct order,” said Skinner.
Skinner also told ABC 7 that they weren’t giving violators any citations, but rewards to those who listen. Also, a reminder to be ready in the water if needed.
“When we do inspection on the boat we ask where a certain item was located, we see them in and out of the boat. Just make sure you know where that item is so in case there’s an emergency on the boat, you can go straight to where you need,” he said.
If you weren’t able to make it to this free inspection, you can also call the Coast Guard or your local law enforcement marine unit to set up an inspection.