boating

Monroe County

A new program in the Keys aims to help boaters dispose of "end-of-life" boats — those that are in poor condition but still floating — before they are abandoned and become an expensive problem for the county.

The Vessel Turn-In Program would be the first in Florida, though not the first in the country. The Keys were chosen "because we have so many of them and they cost so much to remove," said Richard Jones, the county's senior resources administrator.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law inspired by two teenagers still lost at sea.

Trice Denny / U.S. Navy

The image of the liveaboard life in the Keys is free and easy — toss down an anchor and you're home. But there's one location off Key West where the U.S. Navy wants the boats at anchor to move on. Now.

Fleming Key is a small island off Key West with facilities that the public rarely sees, like the city of Key West's sewage treatment plant. And bunkers where the Navy stores weapons and ammunition.

Those bunkers have "explosive safety arcs," or areas that could be blast zones in the case of an accident. Sailing and especially anchoring within those areas is prohibited.

House Bill Cracks Down On Boating, Driving While Under The Influence

Jan 16, 2017

A motorist operating a car or boat could be arrested for driving under the influence, under a measure filed by state Rep. David Silvers, D-West Palm Beach.

Since April, the Newlead Castellano has been anchored off the Georgia coast, near Savannah — with a crew on board that couldn't come ashore.

Now, after several motionless months, the Filipino sailors are close to heading home. The auction of the ship is bringing an end to what Splash247, a maritime news site, called a "shameful story of crew neglect."

Fane Lozman

Before 2013, Florida’s houseboats were considered sea vessels rather than homes - but that all changed when activist and developer Fane Lozman took his case to the U. S. Supreme Court.

 

Lozman gained national attention in 2013 when the court ruled in his favor after the city of Riviera Beach demolished the houseboat he was living in,  arguing that  it did not qualify as a residence. Last Sunday, Lozman returned to Riviera Beach with a new houseboat in tow.

 

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

If you are enjoying a summer day in your boat on Biscayne Bay, you better think twice before reaching for that beer. Operation Dry Water is in full swing. 

 

Officers of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are patrolling the waters on this weekend before the Fourth of July holiday to make sure there is no boat driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

Officer Lorenzo Velloz was pulling over boaters Friday morning for a routine safety check off Key Biscayne.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is reminding boaters to take one more step before loading up and leaving the Keys: Tie down your boat. If not, you can wind up like the unfortunate driver Tuesday morning whose boat came off its trailer on the Overseas Highway in Marathon. A tow truck was called to the scene and the Florida Highway Patrol is investigating. Besides that expense, failing to properly secure your boat is a civil infraction that can result in a ticket.

Florida Fish And Wildlife Commission

  The boat that ran into a patch reef off Key West recently left without reporting the grounding. But it left some pieces behind.

"Essentially, this is a hit-and-run on the coral," said Sean Morton, superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. "We're on the lookout for a very large boat that is missing one prop and has probably a very large dent and damage to the hull on the front."

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Boaters from the Lower Keys often escape to the nearby islands of the Key West National Wildlife Refuge.

The refuge was created in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt to protect birds from plume hunters. Several of the islands have beaches that are attractive to boaters — and to nesting sea turtles and shorebirds.

Rob O'Neal / Havana Challenge

In May, five 16-foot Hobie Cat sailboats left Key West for the inaugural Havana Challenge sailing race to Cuba.

"Three of them were broken, one sank and one was ripped into pieces," said Joe Weatherby, one of the race organizers. The three "broken" boats were patched up enough to limp into Havana Harbor -- 10 hours after leaving Key West.

Keys InfoNet

Since March 16, the last drawbridge on the Overseas Highway has only opened once an hour.

Before that, it opened twice an hour — which caused massive backups through the village of Islamorada in the Upper Keys, said Islamorada Mayor Mike Forster.

On Thursday, the Coast Guard informed the village that it would be extending the test period of once-an-hour openings for another 30 days, Forster said. The test period had been scheduled to end this Tuesday.

"It's been pretty effective," Forster said.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Pattrik Simmons

The U.S. Coast Guard today announced a new slow-speed zone to ensure the safety of boaters in and out of Convoy Point and Black Point Marina during the Columbus Day weekend celebrations.

“Historically, we have had a slow-speed zone in the area, but it’s been centered mostly in the northern part of the Biscayne Bay,” said Lt. Mike Cortese, Commanding Officer of U.S. Coast Guard Station Miami Beach. “We have extended it south all the way to Black Point [Marina] to help cover the high-traffic areas between the Elliot Key and the marinas where boaters often launch out of.”

Sailing The Sloop With Seeger: A Local Remembers

Jan 28, 2014
Christina Leps

Allan Aunapu was 26 in 1967, when he went north from Miami to work on the Sloop Clearwater, which would be bound for the Hudson River. The sloop came from the imagination of legendary folk singer and anti-war activist Pete Seeger, who died Monday, Jan. 27, at 94 years old.

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