By Craig Setzer

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s definitely not boating weather this holiday weekend but that’s all the more reason to follow important boat safety tips when you do take the boat out on the water.

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Miami-Dade firefighters stationed on Fire Boat 73 at Port Miami know what it’s like first hand to be called to rescue boaters who run into trouble.

“When you have a boat that doesn’t have a built in GPS, then get a hand-held one,” said Lt. Andres Machado from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. “Because when you’re in trouble, to us, that’s the most critical point, where can I go and give you hand. If you don’t know where you are, then we can’t find you. Knowing exactly where you is extremely important to us.”

He also says try to avoid boating at night.

“Boating at night is scary. Anything from low visibility, boats flying with no navigation lights, we see it all the time, jet skis in the dark. If you don’t have to go out a night, then don’t.”

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Also, if someone falls overboard, keep an eye on them.

“Whoever spots him in the water, that is the whole purpose of that person, to keep an eye on that person in the water.”

Just like anything with safety, having a plan is the way to go.

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Craig Setzer