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BOATING SAFETY EVENT SET FOR SATURDAY IN CENTENNIAL PARK Boats sit at the Marina Jack docks on the Sarasota bayfront with Golden Gate Point condominium complexes in the background. Photo by Norman Schimmel On Saturday, May 24, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Sarasota Police Department and the Civilian Volunteer Marine Program will team up with representatives of United States Coast Guard Flotilla 84, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, the Longboat Key Police Department and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for the Interagency Boating Safety Inspection Day at Centennial Park, located at 1059 N. Tamiami Trail (known as the 10th Street Boat Ramp) in Sarasota, the Police Department has announced. "Target has generously donated children's life jackets" for the occasion, a news release notes. Officers will be handing out educa- tional material to boat owners, and coloring books and other materials will be available for children. "According to the United States Coast Guard, each year hundreds of lives are lost, thou- sands are injured and millions of dollars in property damage happens because of preventable recreational boating accidents on our waterways," said Lt. Kevin Stiff of the Patrol Division in the news release. "The Sarasota Police Department wants everyone to have a safe boating season." "Families enjoying the Memorial Day week- end may head out for a day on a boat that has seen very little use during the winter," the release points out. "In the excitement of the holiday weekend, safety equipment checks are often overlooked. Families may later find themselves without the necessary equipment in an emergency or be upset when they are cited for violations," it adds. As boats make their way to the 10th Street Boat Ramp, officers will perform safety inspections and answer any questions, the release continues. Boats in full compliance will be given a 2014 Multi-Agency sticker that can be displayed while they are on the water, it says. Sarasota News Leader May 23, 2014 Page 82

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