MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – In recognition of Water Safety Month in Florida, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez joined Florida Department of Health (DOH) Deputy Secretary Dr. Kenneth Scheppke, Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Shevaun Harris, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Major Alberto Maza, local officials, and water safety stakeholders in Islamorada, Florida to discuss boating and drowning prevention safety.
“Florida’s beautiful beaches, lakes, springs and pools are just one of the many reasons visitors are coming to our state in record numbers,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “As we head into the summer months, we are encouraging Floridians to take steps to keep themselves and their children safe. Together, we can prevent drownings in the Sunshine State and enjoy the outdoors safely.”
“With the summer months approaching it is important to bring awareness to safe practices that all families should use in pools and at the beach,” said DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris. “We have seen an alarming increase in the number of drownings in our state, specifically in vacation rentals, and sadly, these deaths are preventable. I encourage parents and caregivers to ensure that water safety measures are in place near any and all bodies of water.”
“As an emergency physician, I have too often witnessed the tragedy of drowning and the toll it takes on surviving family and loved ones. Sadly, drowning continues to impact Florida’s children where it ranks as the number one cause of death in children ages 1 to 4,” said Department Deputy Secretary for Health Dr. Kenneth Scheppke. “This Memorial Day, the Florida Department of Health encourages Floridians and visitors to enjoy our state’s beautiful water attractions, but to be mindful of the risks of drowning and to stay safe.”
“We want people to have fun and stay safe while recreating in the Fishing and Boating Capitol of the World,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Major Alberto Maza. “We are proud to partner with the Florida Department of Health and various organizations during National Water Safety Month to educate the public about the importance of boating safety with emphasis on wearing a personal flotation device, having a boating plan, and staying informed about weather conditions.”
“Water safety is important anywhere, especially in the Florida Keys where our way of life depends on the water,” said Mayor Pro Tem Holly Raschein. “I’m proud to highlight Water Safety Month and the steps that can be taken to prevent tragedies alongside our Lieutenant Governor, Jeanette Nuñez.”
Drowning is preventable, and the State of Florida works to educate Floridians and visitors on safe recreation around all bodies of water. Some actions individuals can take include:
• Ensuring children are supervised in and around bodies of water.
• Engaging in swim lessons.
• Learning CPR.
• Making sure pool barriers and gates meet state law requirements.
• Following life jacket laws and ensuring life jackets are properly fitted.
• Checking local conditions before you head out to the water, such as weather conditions, rip tides, and marine life.