Kayaking death leads to revisiting boating safety
SARASOTA - A tragic boating accident, two adults, two children, zero life jackets and as a result, a toddler is dead. According to Florida Fish & Wildlife, or FWC, all four people were on one kayak when it capsized Saturday night near Terra Cia Bay. Search crews recovered the body of three-year-old Caleb Nopal several hours later.
Now the child's accidental death has FWC urging people to revisit basic boating safety tips, regulations and laws. We stopped by Economy Tackle to meet with “Safety is very simple. It’s just the fact of wearing a life jacket. Should you go into the water from capsizing, whatever the case may be, they are virtually impossible to put on if you are over your head," said Pfaff.
Saturday’s accident violated many state laws such as requiring children under the age of 6 to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device, as well as safe boating practices such as not overloading your water craft.
Pfaff says assuring the fit of your life jackets matches whether you’re in a kayak, jet ski or power boat is important as well. A safety whistle attached to the vest is another safety feature you should look for. Being aware of weather and sea conditions as well as never boating while under the influence are two major components when it comes to water safety. “Kayaks are extremely safe. Used properly like anything else. So you have three major requirements there, the whistle, the life jacket and a light if you’re going to paddle at night," said Pfaff.
While being knowledgeable is vital, safety is key. A life vest at any age is arguably the best practice for personal security across the board for any water sport.
For more water safety information, visit FWC.