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Boat Owners Urged To Secure Boats Now

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – While it is looking more and more like South Florida will not be in the direct path of Tropical Storm Isaac, that doesn’t mean we won’t feel its effects.

Gusty winds and squally rainstorms across the region are in the forecast beginning as early as Friday night.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) urges all boat owners to secure their vessels. Boats which free can cause problems to waterways by causing fuel and oil pollution; drifting into bridges, docks, seawalls and piers; and interfering with navigation.

“Now is the time to properly secure your vessel to make sure it doesn’t break free and cause damage to property or result in people getting injured,” said Capt. Tom Shipp with the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section.

If boat owners trailer their boats, the FWC recommends they secure their vessels in a safe location, let some air out of the trailer tires, block the wheels and, if possible, anchor the boat down and/or add weight to help keep the boat in place.

If your boat does break free, you’re urged to call local law enforcement or the FWC at (888) 404-3922 to report it.

The FWC would also like to discourage those with personal watercraft, who view the high waves created by a storm as an opportunity to jump them, to stay off the water.

“Thrill-seekers are advised to avoid the waters and high winds created from the storm,” Shipp said. “Please keep in mind that when people choose to act irresponsibly, they jeopardize others. They cause law enforcement officers, rescue workers and other emergency personnel to risk their lives unnecessarily.”

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