Planning your trip to Venice, FL? You’ll want to take full advantage of the beautiful waters of the area and hit the waves in a boat, jet ski or other watercraft. Before you hit the waves, get acquainted with these five boating safety tips for boaters visiting Florida.
Take an approved boating safety course
Taking a boating class is the most basic safety tip for boaters visiting Venice, FL. The state of Florida requires all people born on or after January 1, 1988 to acquire a Boating Safety Education Identification Card to operate a motorboat of 10 horsepower or greater, which includes most boats and personal watercraft like jet skis. If you can’t find a class available in your local community, there are many online classes that give you an opportunity to learn all the rules and regulations you need to know.
Be mindful of weather conditions
Before you head out for a day on the water, be sure to monitor the weather conditions carefully. This is especially important in the summer months, when thunderstorms and downpours pop up most afternoons. Always check the weather before you head out to a lake, ocean or bay, and be sure to continue to check conditions as you’re out on the water.
Monitor your surroundings
Just like when you drive a car or other motor vehicle, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times when you’re operating any watercraft. Always make sure you have a clear path whenever you drive your boat. Make sure no equipment or passengers are blocking your line of sight, and always scan the area around the boat for swimmers, flags and any debris that may be in the water. You have a duty to your passengers and other people to use every available resource, including radar and radio, to avoid accidents with people and vehicles. It’s not just a suggestion—it’s the law.
Look out for aquatic animals
Humans aren’t the only living creatures who are out in the water. Florida has a unique ecosystem with a wide variety of aquatic animals, including turtles and manatees. When you see signs that say “slow” or “no wake,” in most cases it’s not just for the benefit of people that may be present, but also to ensure the safety of animals in the area. Obey the signs and act responsibly to protect the beautiful creatures that call the waters in and around Florida home.
Develop a float plan
Before you hit the waves, write out a float plan and leave it with an employee at your boat rental facility. The float plan should detail your itinerary and contain all the names, addresses and phone numbers of passengers on the boat. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and this information is crucial in case of emergency.
No visit to Venice, FL is complete without adventuring out into the crystal blue waters, but you always need to follow these five safety tips for boaters visiting the area. Contact Cool Breeze Boats and Jet Ski Rentals to learn more about boating safety so you can hit the waves and enjoy the Florida sun and sea responsibly.
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