Seminole firefighters prepare for more boaters ahead of Memorial Day weekend

More boats have been on water since pandemic began, first responders ay

Seminole County Fire and Seminole County Sheriff’s Office are set to use their boats and patrol county area waters throughout Memorial Day Weekend.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Lt. Kyle Hair with Seminole County Fire Rescue explained the do’s and don’ts when it comes to boating.

Hair said the department is expecting a busy weekend as many plan to take out their boats for Memorial Day Weekend.

“Memorial Day weekend is generally one of our busiest weekends of the year,” Hair said.

Hair said a lot more people have been out boating since the pandemic started two years ago.

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“With the strange phenomenon over COVID, there’s been a lot more boat sails, a lot more people spending time together and going out doing stuff recreationally and it was a good time to get out and socially distance,” he said.

Hair said just this month alone, the department received six water rescue calls with some boaters stuck at night.

“Our biggest concern with boating is new boaters. People go out and they buy the boats, and they don’t have a lot of experience on the boat. Boats are different from cars because they don’t have breaks. You can put it on reverse and slow it down, but you can’t stop it like you could with a car,” he explained.

As for safety, firefighters said it’s important to have a lifejacket on board, keep your phone charged, and don’t get behind the wheel under the influence.

“Always have the proper amount of PFD, the life jackets, if you gotta wear them, wear them. Have your fire extinguisher just in case,” Hair said.

Seminole County Fire and Seminole County Sheriff’s Office are set to use their boats and patrol county area waters throughout Memorial Day Weekend.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.