Proper boat safety tips during Memorial Day Weekend

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

A properly fitting life jacket and a working radio are just two items you should have if you go out on a boat during the Memorial Day Weekend.

Too many boaters know the rules but fail to follow them. They’ve got life jackets, radios and fire extinguishers. Wearing the life jackets, Captain Combes told WINK News, and knowing how to use the equipment saves lives.

There are a lot of boaters on the water during Memorial Day Weekend. Captain Combes said it’s a perfect time to remind everyone safety at sea is everyone’s responsibility.

“Just like if you’re driving a car down I-75. You want to be in the right frame of mind, and you don’t want to be drinking, and you want to be very aware of everything around you. It’s no different on the water,” Captain Combes said.

Captain Combes said too many operators and riders fail to wear life jackets on canoes to paddle boats and motorboats.

“Majority of people that die on the water die from drowning, and it’s because and most of them aren’t wearing life jackets,” Captain Combes said.

WINK News joined Captain Combes, a member of the Freedom Boat Club, out on the water on Friday. He explained knowing the conditions while out on the water is a must.

Freedom Boat Club. CREDIT: WINK News

“We have a storm that’s just to the north of us, we’re right on the edge of it. The winds are picking up a little bit, you can feel a little coolness in the air and lightning in that storm, so we want to make sure we get back to the dock safely,” Captain Combes said.

WINK News also asked about being vigilant when it comes to oceanic wildlife and how important that is.

“Well, it’s critical. You gotta obey the manatee zones, the no-wake zones, make sure that you’re voting slow. I mean, you’re out on the water, what better place to be? And so take your time, don’t be in a hurry, and observe all the signs…” Captain Combes said.

Freedom Boat Club has 13 locations across the Fort Myers and Naples area, offering a three-hour boating course.

People are going to bring alcohol on boats, but it’s important to remember it’s illegal to operate a boat while drinking.

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