NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) — Beaches, parks and pools are expected to be packed during Labor Day weekend. So are Tampa Bay’s waterways.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office wants people to be safe when they head out into the water.

The agency shared video showing its Maritime Operations and Aviation Units respond to a call about a boat that capsized last week with three people on board. Deputies said the passengers were wearing life jackets and were able to stay with the boat while the helicopter searched for them. The bobbing boaters used a flare gun to get the helicopter crew’s attention and were rescued.

The agency said the boaters were prepared and did the right thing, and that saved their lives.

The sheriff’s office is urging all boaters to perform safety inspections on their boats and make sure they have the right equipment, including life jackets for everyone on board and flares that are in good condition. They should also be sure to have a float plan and make sure someone on land knows where you’re heading and when you’ll return.



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