FWC urges boat owners to secure their vessels before storm hits
Friday, July 23, 2010
Media contact: Maj. Jack Daugherty, 850-488-5600
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) advises boat owners to secure their boats properly
in advance of possible sustained heavy winds from Tropical Storm
Bonnie now threatening Florida.
Vessels that break free can cause problems to
waterways by causing fuel and oil pollution, drifting into bridges,
docks, seawalls and piers, and interfering with navigation.
In addition, the boats themselves can sustain damage."
Now is the time to properly secure your vessel to
make sure it doesn't break free and cause damage to property or
result in people getting injured," said Capt. Carol Keyser with
FWC's Boating and Waterways Section.
If boat owners trailer their boats, the FWC
recommends they secure their vessels in a safe location, let some
air out of the trailer tires, block the wheels and, if possible,
anchor the boat down and/or add weight to help keep the boat in
Florida has laws that relate to abandoned vessels.
The state is often overwhelmed with lost, abandoned and damaged
vessels following significant weather events.
Residents are encouraged to call their local law
enforcement agencies or the FWC at 888-404-3922 to report vessels
that have broken free.
The FWC's Division of Law Enforcement and other law
enforcement agencies are often tasked with helping people who
intentionally put themselves at risk, such as personal watercraft
operators who view the high waves created by a storm as an
opportunity to jump waves.
"Thrill-seekers are advised to avoid the waters and
high winds created from the storm," Keyser said. "Please keep in
mind that when people choose to act irresponsibly, they jeopardize
others. They cause law enforcement officers, rescue workers and
other emergency personnel to risk their lives unnecessarily."
To find out more about properly mooring vessels,
reporting debris and for other useful information, go to
MyFWC.com/Boating. Damaged markers can be reported to