FWC urges boaters to stay safe during Memorial Day weekend

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With Memorial Day weekend just days away, Action News Jax talked with boating safety experts about the best practices you should know before getting out on the water.


Many boaters will be out on the waterways across Northeast Florida.

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According to officer Trevor Hausler with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission there are certain areas boaters should look out for this weekend due to high boater traffic.

“Here in Jacksonville, Fort George Inlet is going to be congested around the Alimacani boat ramp” Hausler said.

Hausler tells me FWC can stop people on boats, and when you are stopped there are some things you must have.

“Every vessel over 16 feet is required to have a type four throwable device and every vessel is required to have a PFD on board,” Hausler said.

That’s a personal flotation device.

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Lisa Almeida, better known as Lisa the Boatnista, is the owner of Freedom Boat Club in Jacksonville. Today I had the opportunity to ride on one of her boats

She says she has her pieces of advice when it comes to boating on Memorial Day weekend.

“The first and most important thing is to have a designated driver, do not be drinking alcohol. Make sure that you have a first mate or someone that is your lookout, because it will be busy,” Almeida said.

As far as people who are just starting to drive boats, Almeida says this weekend is the wrong one to be out on the water.

“You do want to make sure you are looking out and making sure there is anything in the water. There could be logs floating, there could be crab traps,” Almeida said.

Almeida says when it comes to docking your boat, you should always take your time.

“If you’re getting ready to pull in and you’re turning sideways or it’s not working out, just stop back up, do it again. Sometimes it takes me two or three times to do it right,” Almeida said.

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FWC says they will also be out in force checking for BUI’s on the water.

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