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Lee and Collier counties make list of most dangerous boating spots in Florida

Lee and Collier County are now making a list no one wants: some of the most dangerous spots for boaters.

65 boating accidents were reported in Lee County in 2019 with a majority of them happening not far from the Punta Rassa boat ramp where the Caloosahatchee feeds into the gulf.

As the pandemic closed beaches, a lot of people took to the water by boat, creating even busier waterways than in previous years.

“There are a lot of boats out there and a lot of people enjoying it, especially during the coronavirus people couldn’t go to the beaches so people were on the boats,” said Fort Myers resident Shane Newby.

There are three things every boat needs to operate safely.

  • A life jacket for every person on board
  • Fire extinguishers
  • A throwable life preserver
  • If you are going offshore you also need to have a flare on board.
  • Lastly always have a lookout: According to FWC that was the number one cause of boating accidents statewide.

And one thing the coast guard says they’ll be watching closely this weekend is speeding.

“Speeding, people not slowing down when they should be so if you see a lot of dense boating traffic and you’re not really sure what to do or you don’t think you’re gonna be able to make a decision fast enough, just slow down slow your speed,” said Petty Officer First Class Brad Houston with the Fort Myers Beach Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard also says they are partnering with all the local sheriff’s offices to increase patrols on the water over the holiday weekend.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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