The Miami-Dade County Commission on July 21 approved legislation sponsored by Commissioner Joe Martinez directing the mayor to develop a plan for the installation of water rescue stations at county-owned facilities near the water.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most drownings occur in locations that are unguarded. The water rescue stations will have life preserver rings that will allow a bystander to help someone in distress.
Florida is not only a peninsula that is bordered by water on three sides but has many waterways that can pose a threat, such as lakes, rivers, bays and canals. This lifesaving device can be placed at any of these locations as an added measure in rescuing someone that is in trouble in any of these waterways. A penalty will be imposed to help ensure these stations are not tampered with or vandalized.
“In 2018, there were approximately 400 deaths due to drowning in Florida. The installation of the water rescue stations is to help decrease the number of drownings by giving bystanders the ability to assist in the rescue of a swimmer in distress,” Commissioner Martinez said. “Under Florida’s ‘Good Samaritan Law,’ any person who in good faith provides emergency care or treatment to someone in an emergency situation is not liable for any civil damages when rendering aid.”