Tampa, FL -- Sadly, it's already proven to be a dangerous and deadly weekend on Tampa Bay area waters.

Over the weekend, a Palm Harbor boater died trying to save his dog.

The body of 70-year-old John Patti was found in Lake Tarpon's Brooker Creek. Patti was boating Saturday afternoon with three friends and his dog, a 3-year-old Yorkie named Rascal.

Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies say when Rascal jumped into the water, Patti went in after him. Friends say that's when Patti disappeared under the waterline, after saving his dog.

Also over the weekend, a personal watercraft accident sent a man to the hospital. His wave-runner smashed into a piling as he attempted to go under the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

Luckily, another boater spotted him and helped get the victim out of the water. Rescuers say he was wearing a life jacket, and that likely saved his life.

Officials share these important safety tips if you or someone you know is heading out on the water this holiday weekend:

1) Remember to bring a life jacket for everyone. It's also the law.

2) Don't drink and boat. Consuming alcohol can affect perception, reaction time and decision-making and can be just as deadly as drinking and driving.

3) Make sure you have all the proper safety and rescue equipment on board.

4) Make sure any fishing permits and marine decals are up to date.

5) Watch the signs. Look for channel markers and watch out for "slow speed" - and "no-wake" signs.

6) File a plan. Let a family member or a friend who's not going on-board with you know where you're supposed to be so that if something were to happen, search and rescue crews would know where to look for you.

Read or Share this story: http://on.wtsp.com/1h4t856