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Security amped up on land & water for Gasparilla parade

7:53 PM, Jan 24, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- It's filled with floats, beads, pirates, and fun... but to ensure Gasparilla is a good time, cops will be out in full force making sure everyone's safe.

They won't just be keeping an eye on the parade route, but the waters as well.

SEE ALSO: Gasparilla traffic information
MORE INFO: Gasparilla Pirate Parade this weekend!

Lt. George Wells with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission knows that in just hours these waters will soon look like this.

"We're expecting a crowd," says Lt. Wells.

A crowd that he says could potentially create a hazardous situation.

"You need to have a life jacket and have a sober driver," says Lt. Wells. Wells says along with the parade goers, there will be hundreds of cops patrolling the waters. 

For Tim Teahan with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, he says he'll be making sure you have the boating must-haves once you set sail.

"A throwable device for man overboard and a fire extinguisher," says Lt. Wells.

Because a good time could quickly leave you high and dry if you don't follow the rules.

"For people to have a good time, we need to make sure people are safe," says Lt. Wells.

Lt. Michael Flynn with the Tampa Police Department says cameras will be placed along the parade route as well. Last week, they were used at the children's parade and they'll be up and recording all day Saturday. Back at the police department, there will be a full crew monitoring what's going on.

Back on the parade route, Flynn says people need to remember a few do's and don'ts.

"Coolers are acceptable... but just the small ones, not the big bulky ones," says Lt. Flynn.

When it comes to consuming alcohol, it's only allowed along the parade route.

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