Authorities warn boaters to be safe ahead of Memorial Day weekend

WATSON ISLAND, Fla. – Authorities are warning boaters to be safe Thursday ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

Several boat crashes have been reported in recent weeks.

Two men died Tuesday off Dania Beach in the most recent case after their boat capsized.

Two others also died after they were involved in a head-on boat collision Saturday night in the Intracoastal Waterway off Fort Lauderdale.

Law enforcement authorities reminded people that skill and experience is needed to control a boat, and safety equipment is a must. 

"Oftentimes, here in South Florida, the weather can turn in a matter of minutes. So make sure that you check your weather and you know in order to stand the capabilities of your boat," Maj. Alfredo Escanio, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said. "If you're on a small vessel and there's going to be some severe weather, don't go out. Let's be wise about the decisions that we make."

Authorities said no risks should be taken on the water. They said they will be also looking out for people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"If we stop you and we realize that you've been drinking, we're going to have experts on board to analyze you, and if we determine that you're under the influence, you will be arrested," Lupo Jimenez, of Miami-Dade Police Marine Patrol, said. "This is going to be a zero tolerance weekend."