Boater Safety Bill Ready to Be Signed by the Governor

beached sailboat on its side

The loss of life has never been easy for parents to have to deal with especially when it was due to an accident. Losing a loved one at sea where they are never located is an outcome that the parents of Stephanos and Cohen would like to save other parents from having to endure. When rescuers found the overturned watercraft and no sign of the children their worst fears were being realized. Fears that may have been avoided if technology known as the EPIRB had been implemented. It is a personal locator beacon and it is said to be heading for Governor Rick Scott to sign off on.

The bill is designed to encourage all boat owners to acquire one of these devices as insurance should they ever suffer a similar fate. Some boat owners may choose to ignore purchasing the additional equipment which is why the bill is being introduced. The plan is to offer boat owners a discount on registration fees as a form of encouragement to get everyone on board. These discounts are expected to vary in amounts and have a direct impact on annual registrations. The discounts will be based on a particular criterion and could range from as low as 11.9 percent to as much as 23 percent.

The bill was presented to both the house and the senate and met no resistance passing with unanimous votes in both instances. The bill is on the final leg to the governor before passage who is expected to sign it into law. Boat owners should see these changes take effect as they attempt to renew their registration on or after July 1st, 2016. Unfortunately, the bill will only be in effect for one year and must be renewed or adjusted if it is to remain in effect beyond those dates.

The parents behind the drive to improve boat safety are actively involved in issues connecting to boat safety. They created the AustinBlu Foundation to help raise awareness for boat safety and to honor the memory of their children. They have joined forces with ACR Electronics to introduce the device to the boating arena. The foundation is sponsoring safe-boating classes for boat operators in Boca Raton. In order to ensure that discounts are being properly allocated, the Department of Motor Vehicles will be verifying all applicants. Once these beacons are activated the coast guard or some other monitoring agency will begin a search and rescue for the troubled boaters facing boating accidents.

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