TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Jose Gasparilla will emerge at the south end of Hillsborough Bay on Saturday followed by hundreds if not thousands of boats.
The invasion will showcase pirates coming with the key to the city, plenty of beads and a lot of fun — if done safely.
“Everyone comes back safely to the dock, that’s our main goal,” said FWC Regional Commander Maj. Robert Row.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be out in full force ensuring just that.
“Life jackets save lives, so we really want everyone to find a comfortable life jacket and wear it while you’re out on the water,” Maj. Row said.
Last year, FWC caught five people boating under the influence.
This year, they’re cracking down on BUI, saying reducing that infraction will save the most lives.
“Our biggest focus is BUI, so that’s what we will be focusing on heading into Gasparilla,” he said.
If you’re stopped and suspected of BUI, you may be asked to do field sobriety exercises, which include tasks like horizontal gaze nystagmus, finger to nose, palm pat and hand coordination.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy on BUI,” Row said. “We take it very seriously.”
“We will be out in force looking for people boating under the influence from the very start of the parade until the end of it.”