An Accredited Florida Law Enforcement Agency

Swimming and Boating Safety

Yulee, Fla. – With Spring Break upon us and Summer just around the corner it is important to remember some safety tips about swimming and boating activities.  Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said “Make sure you remain safe and have an enjoyable time outdoors.  And always remember, most accidents are preventable!”



  • Check your boat for all required safety equipment.
  • Consider the size of your boat, the number of passengers and the amount of extra equipment that will be on-board.
  • If you will be in a power boat, check your electrical system and fuel system for gas fumes.
  • Follow manufacturers suggested procedures BEFORE starting up the engine.
  • Wear your life jacket – don’t just carry one on board.
  • Leave your alcohol behind. Work to increase your safety, not increase your risks!
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • File a float plan with a member of your family or friend.



  • Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and water wings to stay afloat.
  • Don’t take chances, by over estimating your swimming skills.
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Never swim alone.



  • Never dive into lakes and rivers…the results can be tragic.
  • Every year, diving accidents result in more than 8,000 people suffering paralyzing spinal cord injuries and another5,000 dying before they reach the hospital.
  • All too often, hidden dangers lurk beneath the surface of the water, including rock outcrops or shallow water.



  • Each year about 200 children drown and several thousand others are treated in hospitals for submersion accidents, accidents which leave children with permanent brain damage and respiratory health problems.
  • Remember, it only takes a few seconds for a small child to wander away. Children have a natural curiosity and attraction to water.



  • It’s a fact, alcohol and water do not mix! Unfortunately, many people ignore this and each year about 3,000 of them are wrong…dead wrong! More than half of all the people that drown had consumed alcohol prior to their accident.
  • Being intoxicated is not necessary for alcohol to be a threat to your safety. Just one beer will impair your balance, vision, judgment and reaction time, thus making you a potential danger to yourself and others.
  • Research shows that four hours of boating, exposure to noise, vibration, sun, glare and wind produces fatigue that makes you act as if you were legally intoxicated. If you combine alcohol consumption with this boating fatigue condition, it intensifies the effects and increases your accident risk.