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Officials urge care for boaters during holiday weekend

Posted at 2:47 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 17:33:04-04

MIAMI (AP) — Officials are encouraging boaters to take extra precautions in Florida waters this Fourth of July holiday weekend.

A U.S. Coast Guard news release urged boaters to not speed since there will be an increase in vessel traffic to see fireworks. It says speeding and intoxication cause the most accidents and deaths.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported 90 boat crashes last July, the most in 2018. Most of the accidents came from collisions with vessels and speeding.

The Miami-Dade Police Department also says they will be conducting a three-day Boating Under the Influence initiative to reduce alcohol and drug-related offences, starting on Thursday. They say intoxicated boaters can face up to one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.