TAMPA (FOX 13) - One of the busiest boating weekends is underway. Thousands of people are expected to hit the water this July 4th weekend.
This holida, along with Memorial Day and Labor Day, typically accounts for more than one third of all boating accidents and fatalities. That's why law enforcement officers are offering some safety tips.
-Always wear a life jacket.
-Make sure your boat is properly equipped.
-Be prepared for emergencies. Accidents happen quickly, often with little or no warning.
-Keep a lookout for other boats, the weather, or anything unusual.
-Don't drink and drive. Intoxicated boaters can face penalties of up to one year in prison and $100,000 in fines.
The latest findings show, in 2014, Florida lead the nation in the number of boating accidents with 581. Sadly, that same year 62 people lost their lives on the water.
Perhaps the best way to prevent boating fatalities, according to police, is wearing a life jacket since 78 percent of victims in crashes drowned.