DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) — The weather is clearing up just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Many people will be hitting the water to enjoy the holiday weekend but authorities have stressed that they should keep safety in mind.

Memorial Day weekend boating traffic is traditionally heavy and boaters must take every necessary precaution.  Boaters should expect to see extra patrols on the water and shouldn’t be they are stopped for a routine check.

One of the most important pieces of safety equipment that should be aboard every vessel is the life jacket. Everyone needs to have a life jacket.  Children under the age of six are required to wear them.

Statistics show 90-percent of fatalities on the water are people who were not wearing a life jacket. In Florida, drinking while boating is a big problem that maritime law enforcement officers want the boating public to be aware of.  That’s why officers say is it’s important to appoint a sober skipper.

Boaters are also urged to stay alert for dive flags.   They can be fined $90 for coming too close to a diver.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife officials inattentiveness of the boat operator often contributes to boating accidents.

If you are heading out on the seas, you should:

  • Have life jackets
  • Share your plan
  • Monitor the weather
  • Have a designated operator

And don’t think that the focus will be completely on the water. Extra patrols from law enforcement across South Florida will try to keep the roads safe while you have your fun over the holiday weekend.

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