Coast Guard urges boaters to be safe this Labor Day weekend

ST. PETERSBURG – The Coast Guard urges Florida boaters to use extra caution while enjoying the Labor Day weekend.

 Coast Guard law-enforcement crews will be patrolling, conducting safety checks, and watching for people boating while intoxicated or operating in an unsafe manner.

 The Coast Guard asks the boating public to monitor weather broadcasts and be aware of current storm advisories. The National Weather Service broadcasts marine weather forecasts regularly. Forecasts can be heard by tuning in to Channels 1 through 5 on a VHF marine radio or by checking the NWS Web site at

 Boaters are reminded to always wear their life jackets, file a float plan with a friend or family member, and are highly encouraged to have a working VHF radio and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) on board.

 Remaining vigilant, observing safety and security zones while on the water, and understanding the hazards of boating under the influence of alcohol, will contribute to a safe weekend on the water.

 An example of a float plan can be found at

Additional information on safe and secure boating practices can be found here and at the Coast Guards Office of Boating Safety page at

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