With National Safe Boating Week and the release of the 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages boaters to focus on simple, effective steps that make boating safer. If you plan to enjoy our beautiful waterways, check out MyFWC.com/Boating for boating safety tips. Safety is never optional!
“National Safe Boating Week is May 22-28 and we want to encourage boaters to boat safely while enjoying Florida’s year-round boating season,” said Maj. Rob Beaton, FWC’s Boating and Waterways section leader. “Reminding people to be safe and slow down is our top priority. Nothing can ruin an enjoyable and memorable experience on the water faster than a boating accident.”
Among other boating safety tips found at MyFWC.com/Boating, boaters are encouraged to wear their life jackets, maintain 360-degree awareness and know the dangers (and penalties) for operating a vessel while impaired. According to FWC boating accident statistics, almost half (402) of all reportable boating accidents in 2020 were due to collisions, 44% of those collisions were attributed to operator inattention or improper lookout.
“Life-changing tragedies often happen because individuals choose to operate a boat while distracted or, worse yet, impaired. Those tragedies are preventable,” said Beaton. “FWC law enforcement officers will be doing their part to ensure the safety of Florida’s recreational boaters.”
To report people who are boating dangerously, call 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text Tip@MyFWC.com. More information can be found by visiting MyFWC.com/Boating. You can even search there for the Florida Public Boat Ramp Finder to help you find a great place to launch your boat.
The FWC is responsible for reviewing, analyzing and compiling boating accident data for the state. Its statistical report details boating accidents and their causes. The theme of accident-related messages from FWC staff is clear: Officers want to help keep Florida’s beautiful waterways a safe place to boat.
For a copy of the 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report, visit MyFWC.com/Boating and select “Safety & Education” and “Boating Accidents.”