During the Fourth of July weekend, Pinellas County deputies will maintain a high profile on the waterways and roadways to help ensure a safe holiday for citizens and visitors.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office encourages residents to enjoy the local holiday festivities and want to remind them that firework displays should only be conducted by trained professionals.
The Sheriff’s Marine Unit, Environmental Lands Unit and Patrol Deputies will maintain a proactive profile over the holiday weekend, Thursday through Sunday, on the highly traveled roadways and waterways of Pinellas County. They will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and boaters.
This Fourth of July, don’t forget that Pinellas County has an ordinance banning the retail sale and purchase of fireworks that project into the air or explode. Firing guns into the air in celebration is unsafe and also illegal. A bullet returning to the ground could potentially cause injury or death. Sparklers are legal but remember to only use them outside and as intended. It is also not safe to mix alcohol and fireworks.
For those planning to spend this holiday weekend on the water, the Marine and ELU deputies will once again conduct “Operation Kid-Float.” This is a life jacket loaner and boating safety awareness program for children. The Marine Unit recommends that all children wear a personal flotation device while underway and that PFD’s be readily accessible to all occupants of a vessel.
PFD’s are available to the public on a loaner basis. The jackets may be picked up at four locations:
• Don’s Dock located at 215 128th Ave. E. in Madeira Beach (on John’s Pass).
• John Chestnut Park located at 2200 East Lake Road S. in Palm Harbor.
• Dunedin City Marina located at 51 Main St. in Dunedin.
• Fort Desoto Boat Ramp located at 3500 Pinellas Bayway S. in Tierra Verde
Deputies will also have PFD’s on board and will hand them out as needed following boat safety equipment inspections. Citizens are to return the loaner PFD’s after their voyage at the PCSO Marine Facility drop-off bin located at 19305 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Shores.