Boating Tip – Personal Watercraft (PWC) 

  • Drivers of PWCs must follow the same “rules of the road” as other boaters, including passing and observing no wake and idle zones.
  • If multiple PWCs are riding together, maintain sufficient distance between PWCs to avoid hitting anyone who might fall off a PWC
  • Each PWC should have the proper safety equipment, including a signaling device such as a whistle tied to a life jacket

 Boating Tip - "Red, Right, Return" 

  • Red, triangular markers should be on your right when returning from sea
  • Around an island, it’s not always obvious if you are returning or leaving
  • Numbers get larger as you return from sea, so if numbers are increasing, you are “returning”

Boating Tip - Marco Island "Return" Directions

The "Return" direction for the "Red, Right, Return" rule* changes as you navigate around an island. Here are the "Return" directions near Marco Island. Click on the image for a more detailed view.

*  Keep Red markers on your Right when Returning from sea.


Boating Tip – Life Jackets Save Lives

  • The US Coast Guard estimates that life jackets could have saved the lives of over 80% of boating fatality victims
  • Make sure your life jackets fit properly
  • Attach a whistle & waterproof life to every life jacket to aid in locating and recovery of persons overboard

Boating Tip – Signaling Device Required 

  • ALL watercraft – boats, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, jet skis – are required to have an efficient sound producing device
  • A marine whistle tied to a life jacket is a good way to meet this requirement

Boating Tip – Safe Summer Boating

Weather in the summer months can be unpredictable and change quickly. Be prepared by:

  • Checking the forecast with your local National Weather Service (NWS) coastal office before you leave your dock
  • Check the latest NWS buoy observations from the National Data Buoy Center
  • Make sure your boat has all essential & required safety equipment including Life Jackets, Fire Extinguishers, Flares, Communication Devices including cell phones, weather radios
  • Apps are available for up to the minute information

In SW Florida, storms tend to form over land in the summer. If you see storms forming, head to a safe place as soon as possible.