2017-05-17 / Arts & Entertainment News

Ahoy, boaters: Free safety check offered before Memorial Day

In recognition of National Safe Boating Week, May 20-26, the Fort Myers Powers Squadron, the San Carlos Bay Sail and Power Squadron and the Fort Myers Yacht Basin is offering free vessel safety checks at the Yacht Basin, 1300 Lee St. in downtown Fort Myers. The checks will be performed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and Monday, May 21 and 22. All boaters are welcome.

The certified vessel safety examiners of the United States Power Squadrons hope to reach most of the live-aboards at the marina, as well as welcome visitors to the marina who want to get an inspection. Up to 70 boaters live at the marina during this time of year, with 30 to 50 boaters visiting the marina daily for fuel, dockage or to pick up supplies.

The examiner will verify the presence and condition of all safety equipment required by state and federal regulations. Inspections are strictly confidential. No citations will be issued, and the inspectors will gladly return to the boat if owners at first are missing the required equipment necessary to receive the distinctive VSC decal that will be displayed on the boat when they pass inspection. While the decal does not specifically prohibit law enforcement boarding, it does display to authorities that the owner is a responsible boater who took extra steps to ensure safety compliance.

“You’re much more likely to get a ‘have a nice day’” if they see that sticker,” said Bob Moro, commander of the Fort Myers Power Squadron.

Florida leads the nation in boating accidents and deaths. In Lee County, boating fatalities jumped from one to six in 2016. ¦

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