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PCSO plans Labor Day safety campaign
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The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens and visitors to obey all laws while on the waterways and roadways of Pinellas County this Labor Day weekend.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens and visitors to obey all laws while on the waterways and roadways of Pinellas County this Labor Day weekend.

Pinellas County deputies will maintain a high profile in order to help ensure a safe holiday for all, beginning the evening of Friday, Aug. 30, and continuing until midnight Monday, Sept. 2.

Sheriff’s Deputies will maintain a proactive profile over the holiday weekend on the highly traveled roadways and waterways of Pinellas County. They will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and boaters. Safety is priority for all of us here at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Here are a few boating safety tips to keep your families safe during this long weekend on the water.

• LIFE JACKETS: Make sure you have personal floatation devices (PDFs) for all aboard. Children should wear their own, or obtain one through the Sheriff’s Operation Kid Float program. Life jackets are available through this program at four locations throughout Pinellas County.

• ALCOHOL AND BOATING DON’T MIX: The most important tip for everyone’s on-board safety; consuming alcohol beverages to excess will affect perception, reaction and decision-making. Don’t drink and boat!

• PROPER SAFETY/RESCUE EQUIPMENT: Check batteries, on-board electronics (radios), and navigation lights.

• FILE A FLOAT PLAN: A float plan can be an actual form or just notifying other family members or friends about your boating plans – stay in touch with someone on shore.

• PERMITS AND LICENSING: Make sure you have up-to-date fresh and saltwater fishing permits and marine decals for your vessel. Know what fish are in season, as well as, size requirements before you fish! Penalties for violations can be costly.

• WATCH THE WAKE SIGNS: These apply to all vessels – boats, airboats, personal watercraft – especially near areas known to be home for protected manatees.

• PAY ATTENTION TO NAVIGATION MARKERS: Think ahead, chart your course and know how to read your red and green channel markers.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office would like to invite everyone to participate this Sunday during our social media “Float Along” on Twitter and Facebook. We will be patrolling the waterways with our Marine Unit, live “tweeting” and sharing photos on Facebook. The “Float Along” will begin at noon on Sunday, Sept. 1.
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