Boater safety major priority for FWC over Memorial Day holiday

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

Channel 9's Jeff Deal spent Memorial Day riding along with state wildlife agents who were making sure boaters were obeying the laws.

Deal said a lot of people on the water weren’t wearing life jackets, while others didn't even have the safety devices on their boats.

In at least one case, a woman had to be rescued after she apparently fell out of a kayak.

"We've got a kayak that capsized, and they're in the water without a life jacket," said Lenn Salberg of Florida Fish and Wildlife.

It's one of the busiest weekends of the year for fish and wildlife officers.

Salberg and Jeff Luce headed to the Indian River near Manatee Park after getting the call about the woman.

When they got to the scene, they found the capsized kayak and found another boater had helped the woman get out of the water.

Deputies said the woman appeared intoxicated and initially wasn't wearing a life jacket, two problems Fish and Wildlife officers said they saw a lot of over the weekend.

Officers said the busy weekend often brings inexperienced boaters onto the water, which is why they want to make sure people are following the rules and make sure they stay safe.

"Not only is it important to have a life jacket, it's important to wear it," said Salberg.