07.10.2021 (Destin) - The Okaloosa County Watersports Operators Coalition is proud to announce the release of their waterways and navigational safety video. This is the first of 3 videos the coalition plans to release to advocate for boater safety across Okaloosa County. The purpose of the video is to help new boaters safely navigate the local waterways. Several operators and organizations assisted in the creation of this video including the Okaloosa County Tourist Development, City of Destin, and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Local film producer and Travel Channel host Shane Reynolds was selected to produce the video.
To view the video, please visit this link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWLJFIWvuD8
03.16.2021 (Destin) - Watersport operators and local law enforcement agencies met Tuesday morning to discuss how they can enhance safety and communication for the 2021 season. The Okaloosa County Watersport Operators Coalition and the City of Destin hosted the hour long conversation which included representatives from the Coast Guard, Florida Fish & Wildlife (FWC), Fort Walton Beach Police Dept., Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Dept., City of Destin Code Enforcement, and Destin Fire Dept. The forum provided an opportunity for watersport operators to get to know the different agencies helping patrol the waterways, and share concerns and ideas for the upcoming season.
One of the officers of the watersport coalition is Greg Fisher, who moderated the forum. Greg, along with several other operators in Okaloosa County, formed the coalition to not only protect the integrity of watersport operators in the county, but improve the dialogue between local law enforcement and government. As Okaloosa County continues to become a premier boating destination in the Southeast, all eyes will be on the waterways and how to make them safe and sustainable.
Maya Schilder, Operations Manager/Co-Owner of XtremeH2o, presented a wristband concept that her company uses to identify licensed drivers. Each color wristband represents either a driver, rider, or whether they are under age. This allows her staff and law enforcement to easily identify customers who decide to break the rules.
There was also discussion regarding large scale Crab Island events that have become a nuisance over the past couple years. In preparation for upcoming events, law enforcement will be adding more patrol during these days. Citizens are encouraged to call the sheriff’s office if they spot reckless boaters.
For more information about the Okaloosa County Watersport Operators Coalition, please visit boatokaloosa.org, or email them at email@example.com.