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Missing Boater

The search is on for at least one missing boater off the shores of Lake Talquin in Leon County, near Coe's Landing.

The Leon County Sheriff's Office says around 5:30 Sunday a boat was spotted partially submerged in the lake and people reported hearing screams for help.

Rescue divers entered the water around 6:30 Saturday, but have not found anything so far.

At this time authorities aren't sure how many people were on board or where they are from.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is helping in the search.

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Tips for safe boating

  • Be weather wise: Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can mean a storm is brewing. Bring a portable radio to check weather reports.

  • Bring extra gear you may need: A flashlight, extra batteries, matches, a map of where you are, flares, sun tan lotion, first aid kit, extra sunglasses. Put those that need to be protected in a watertight pouch or a container that floats.

  • Tell someone where you're going, who is with you, and how long you'll be away. Then check your boat, equipment, boat balance, engine and fuel supply before leaving.

  • Stay dry and warm: Wear several layers of light clothing; bring rainproof covering. Never wear hip waders in a small boat.

  • Keep fishing & hunting gear clean and well packed. A loose fishhook can cause a lot of pain and ruin a great outing. Bring an extra length of line to secure boat or equipment.

  • Take a safe boating course. As an extra benefit, you may earn lower boat insurance costs.

Boats and alcohol don't mix

  • Over 1,000 people die in boating accidents every year, about half those deaths involve alcohol.

  • It is a tragic fact and not a joke, but 50 percent of drunk men who drown have their fly unzipped.

  • Four hours of exposure to powerboat noise, vibration, sun, glare, wind and motion produces a kind of "boater's hypnosis". This slows reactions almost as much as being legally drunk.

  • Adding alcohol to this sun exposure intensifies the effects, and sometimes just a couple of beers are too many.

  • When you're "tipsy", you are much more likely to fall overboard.

  • A drunk person whose head is immersed can be confused and swim down to death instead of up to safety.

Source: http://www.boatwashington.org/boatingtips.htm (United Safe Boating Institute Web site)


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