Law Enforcement Agencies Establish Marine Task Force

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The Memorial Day weekend will be the busiest boating weekend of the year.

Law enforcement agencies across Bay County are teaming up to make our waterways safer, creating a new marine law enforcement task force.

Local officials formed the task force during the 2006 National Safe Boating Week. Their hope is to get all law enforcement agencies working together on the water.

Rescue is an important part of their mission, but the real target is promoting water safety and education to prevent boating accidents, and that means more attention on enforcing laws currently on the books.

The participating departments will use their own boats and watercraft to coordinate the enforcement effort, and it couldn't come at a more crucial time with Memorial Day weekend here and a month before the Forth of July.

Capt. Ken Parramore with FWC said, "It's a coordination effort to work details together, to train together, to share intelligence trends or boating theft, anything, if there is a problem somewhere we can all be aware of it."

Officials urge boaters and boat operators to be aware, stay sober and expect random life vest checkpoints on the water this weekend.

Florida has more boating accidents than any other state, and most of those accidents are caused by carelessness and drunk drivers.