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FWC and partners conduct detail to help reduce boating under the influence in Tampa Bay area waterways

Over the next few weeks, Southwest Region Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers, in partnership with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, United States Coast Guard and Treasure Island Police Department, will be conducting enhanced patrols aimed at vessel operators boating under the influence. Boating under the influence is not only illegal but it is dangerous to you, your passengers and other boaters. It is never worth the risk. The goal of this detail is to remove impaired operators from the waterways so they remain safe for all boaters to enjoy. We urge boaters to designate a sober operator before leaving the boat ramp.

“Keeping the public and boaters safe is our highest priority, especially during this busy spring boating season,” said Capt. Evan Laskowski, FWC Southwest Region Division of Law Enforcement. “We appreciate our partners at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, USCG and Treasure Island Police Department for helping keep our local waterways safe. We hope that you enjoy your time on the water and do so responsibly.”

Additional tips for boaters before getting underway:

  • Life jackets save lives. Find a comfortable life jacket and WEAR IT.
  • Check your safety equipment. Know exactly where your safety equipment is before an emergency arises.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. The water will be extremely congested during the boating season. Pay attention and maintain a 360-degree awareness while operating a boat.
  • Pay attention to the weather. The weather and sea conditions can change rapidly. Check the weather before heading out in the morning to ensure that you are not operating in hazardous conditions based on your vessel size and your location.

To report people who are operating boats dangerously, call 888-404-FWCC or text Tip@MyFWC.com.

For more information about boating safety, visit MyFWC.com/boating.