Weekly Crime Tip from the Desk of Sheriff Wayne Ivey – April 13
This weekend’s incredible weather was a strong signal that its time to start heading back to the beach, pool, and waterways. As such, I thought we would spend the next two Weekly Crime Prevention messages discussing how to stay safe while enjoying the wonderful aquatic opportunities that Brevard County offers us.
While there are so many areas to discuss about water safety, I thought we would start the discussion by looking at how to stay safe while boating, sailing, or jet skiing.
Below is a quick list of things to keep in mind that can help make sure that both you and your family have an awesome experience while enjoying the many recreational activities in our area:
1. One of the best ways to ensure a fun day is to make sure that all of your equipment is fully operational and well maintained before you ever leave your home. Most of our boats and other vessels have been sitting idle though out the winter so now is the time to check their operational status and not while out on the water. Also make sure that the trailer used to transport them is well maintained as well so that you don’t experience a breakdown along the way.
2. Make sure that all of your licensing is current and in order to include registration. No need to ruin a great day with the family because you didn’t take care of licensing prior to heading out.
3. Always wear your life jacket or at a minimum have them readily available. Unfortunately, we find many boaters during our safety checks have their “personal flotation devises” stored away in a compartment that they could never get to in a true emergency. Not only is it important to have them immediately assessable, but please make sure you have practiced getting to them and everyone on-board is familiar with the emergency process. One minute of practice now can save your entire life tomorrow!!
4. Always file a float plan!! Let someone know where you are planning to go and about what time you expect to be back. That way in case you don’t return on time, searchers will have an area to start looking.
5. Make sure you have a VHF marine radio or cell phone in case you have an emergency and need to call for help. Keep in mind that some areas will have a very poor cellular service. Keep all of your electronic equipment (especially cell phone) protected from water damage by containing them in waterproof packaging.
6. Make sure you have the basic first aid supplies on your boat and discuss emergency plans before they happen.
7. Make sure you check local weather prior to departing on your trip and then stay tuned to weather alerts in your area for approaching storms.
And lastly, please, never consume alcohol when operating vehicles or vessels of any type. Make sure that there is always a designated driver and also that everyone considers that being intoxicated can make water activities far more hazardous. By following these rules everyone gets to have a great time and while limiting opportunities to get hurt.
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