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FWC issues warning to boaters heading out on the water after boat capsizes with no life jackets

FWC asking boaters to maintain 360 degree awareness
Posted at 2:47 PM, Mar 21, 2019

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. — The FWC says they've already had several boating-related deaths this year and the busy season hasn't even started yet.

Officials are warning Spring Break boaters to check their equipment before they head out on the water.

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Treading water was the only option a crew had off Clearwater Beach when their boat capsized Wednesday.

"We were heading here to the bait house to get shrimp and stuff like that. I saw a life jacket floating. the Sheriff was in front of me,” said Charter Boat Captain Randy Schwab.

Charter Boat Captain Randy Schwab got there just in time to pull a few people from the water and their vessel was not equipped with life jackets.

"People need to make sure they have all their safety equipment, checking for safety equipment prior to their voyage out on the water is going to save them,” said FWC Officer Ashley Tyer.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers took us out on the water as they're getting ready for spring break and a lot more boats.

"The water's going to be really congested. We want people to maintain a 360 degree awareness around their boat at all times. It includes what people hear and what they see,” said Officer Tyer.

Officers want boaters to remember to slow down, keep an eye on their boat's person capacity and have flares and a fire extinguisher on-board.

They're warning everyone to make these checks before heading out and getting caught unprepared.