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FWC seeks public input on proposed rule addressing vessels potentially at risk of becoming derelict

Media contact: Robert Klepper; 850-617-9666, Robert.Klepper@MyFWC.com Release Date: 03-27-2019   All Articles Tags:

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be conducting public meetings April 2, 3 and 4 in Monroe and Palm Beach counties to solicit input regarding a proposed process that officers may use to determine if a vessel has an “effective means of propulsion for safe navigation.”

Meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

  • April 2 - Bernstein Park Meeting Facility, 6751 Fifth St., Stock Island, Key West.
  • April 3, - Murray E. Nelson Government Center, 102050 Overseas Highway, Key Largo.
  • April 4 - Palm Beach County Vista Center, Rooms E-58/E-59, 2300 N. Jog Road, West Palm Beach.

During the 2016 Legislative Session, House Bill 7025, At-risk Vessels, passed the Florida Legislature and was approved by the Governor.  This legislation provided new conditions for determining if vessels are at risk of becoming derelict. One of the possible components of an “at-risk” vessel is if it does not have an effective means of propulsion for safe navigation. Currently, there is no evaluation defined by rule or statute for determining this standard, which is the main topic of the upcoming public meeting.

“Creating a standardized evaluation for vessels is an important step in the process of effectively enforcing the at-risk vessel statute,” said Maj. Rob Rowe, Boating and Waterways section leader. “However, this evaluation would have other ramifications that may apply to derelict vessels, liveaboards and the abilities of municipalities to regulate their waters. We want to get everyone’s input on this proposed process, so we can provide an informed recommendation to the Commission.”

For more information, visit MyFWC.com/Boating, scroll down and click on “Derelict Vessels.”