Safety stressed ahead of Columbus Day weekend

Shutdown closes waters of Biscayne, Everglades National Parks

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Members of the U.S. Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and National Parks Service stressed safety Thursday ahead of the Columbus Day weekend.

Everglades and Biscayne National Parks are closed because of the government shutdown, although fishing is allowed at Biscayne. Law enforcement officials said they won't be focused on boaters in those waters.

"We are going to have a multitude of officers at the ready to respond to any emergency on the water regardless of where it is," said FWC spokesman Jorge Pino. "If it's inside Biscayne National Park, we're ready to do that."

In 2011, one man was killed when he fell from a 65-foot yacht and was hit by the boat's propellers.

This article has corrected 2013 Columbus Day Regatta to Columbus Day weekend.

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