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‘Boater Skip Day’ kicks off busy boating season

‘Boater Skip Day’ kicks off busy boating season

  • PublishedJune 7, 2024

The first week of June is known as National Fishing & Boating Week, which is capped off with “Boater Skipped Day.”

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The first week of June is National Fishing & Boating Week, which is unofficially capped off on the First Coast with “Boater Skip Day,” a day that holds a special place in the hearts of local boaters.

Because experts usually see more boating accidents this time of year, before one gets in the water, officials say it is crucial to stay safe; more people on boats means a higher chance of an accident happening. 

Captain Tyler Barrus of Freedom Boat Club has been teaching people how to properly operate a boat for decades. He said the mistakes boaters make are avoidable. 

One common mistake boaters make, Barrus said, is operating a boat as if its a car. Barrus said people who are riding a boat need to make they check their surroundings at all times, watch their speed and watch out for other boaters. 

If there are passengers in the boat, Barrus said it’s crucial to communicate loudly. Let them know when the boat is moving and tell passengers where one is going. The objective is to make sure people do not fall of the boat.

Lastly, Barrus recommended watching how much alcohol is consumed. He described boating and drinking as a recipe for disaster. 

“At least 50 to 60 percent of boating accidents have some type of alcohol involvement,” he said. 

Even if alcohol is not involved, Barrus said two hours on the water is equivalent to having one cocktail. 

“It’s dehydration and sun, constant moving of your body, so you’re using muscles you don’t use all the time,” he said. “All those things are stressors on the body.”  

Barrus strongly urges boaters to wear a life jacket. 

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