Senator Ileana Garcia and Representative Adam Botana table the Boating Safety Act 2022

Senator Ileana Garcia (R-Miami) and Representative Adam Botana (R-Bonita Springs) introduced a bill, Senate Bill 606 and House Bill 493, both titled Boating Safety and referenced as the Safe Boating Act of 2022. The legislation aims to provide a comprehensive approach to improving safety along Florida’s waterways for residents and visitors while limiting illegal rental operations, which have been on the rise since before onset of COVID-19, which has contributed to injuries and deaths, increased criminal activity and deterioration of natural resources. Senator Garcia is scheduled to present SB 606 to the Senate Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 9 a.m.

“The Boating Safety Act of 2022 protects Floridians and visitors, our marine life and natural resources by combating the harmful actions of bad actors while ensuring uninterrupted use of our waterways by responsible enthusiasts and supporting the ‘education of boaters,’ said Senator Garcia. “Giving people the knowledge they need to change their boating habits will have lasting effects and benefit our waterways for generations to come. ”

To combat illegitimate livery operations (rental boat or personal watercraft facilities), the Safe Boating Act of 2022 establishes a no-cost licensing program through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), who will adopt rules for program implementation, issuance and renewal and notification requirements for rule or requirement changes. Liveries will also be required to implement written agreements for the rental of vessels for at least one year, and to make documentation and facilities available to law enforcement within 24 hours of notification.

“My family has been in the boating and livery business for over 15 years now and I think this bill makes good sense. This will help FWC fight bad actors across the state of Florida. It does not interfere with any activity and it is a good bill – which is why I am honored to lead it, ”said Representative Botana.

Reckless vessel operation, which is consistently cited as a major problem by law enforcement and residents of South Florida and attributed as the leading cause of the majority of accidents and fatalities according to the Statistical Report on FWC shipping accidents of 2020, will be better addressed by requiring liveries to provide customers with instructions on the safe operation of a ship in a livery.

The Safe Boating Act of 2022 establishes a program through the FWC to ensure increased compliance with mandatory boater safety education requirements by following citations and issuing notices on said boating safety education requirements. education. The bill also requires a residential or business physical address for registering vessels, except vessels living on board, and creates an Illegal Shipping Enforcement Team to improve and support law enforcement activities. existing law throughout Florida.

Existing penalties for boating under the influence, boating with an expired registration, violation of navigation rules, scarring of seagrass beds, violation of regulations in a source protection zone or mooring limitation zone, mooring or mooring in a prohibited area and the creation of a particular danger with his vessel will be increased. The default non-criminal penalty for boating-related offenses will be increased from $ 50 to $ 100, unless otherwise provided in subsection 327.73 (1), MSDS

Background and additional information:

Senator Garcia continually seeks the participation of not only her own community, but also boating and water-enthusiast communities statewide to provide their perspectives and input on issues. effective, long-term solutions that reward those who work to create a safe and enjoyable boating environment while tackling bad actors.

Senator Garcia has actively worked with the Miami River Commission and has received assistance from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce in soliciting public comment and contributions from the South South Boating and Water enthusiast community. Florida, as well as residents and businesses affected by criminal activity due to increased illegal vessel charter operations.

Senator Garcia met with detail of the City of Miami Marine Patrol, the Miami-Dade Marine Patrol, the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission and the US Coast Guard Sector in Miami. Senator Garcia has also participated in walks to gain first-hand experience of the situation for law enforcement, the United States military, Floridians and visitors to the waters of South Florida.

Senator Garcia met with representatives from the Captains for Clean Waters and the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) to discuss best practices for maintaining a safe and enjoyable boating environment that attracts visitors from around the world and supports many Florida companies.

Senator Garcia welcomes the contribution of individuals and businesses affected by the increase in criminal activity due to illegal livery operations and interested boating and water enthusiasts. If you have any comments regarding these issues, please contact his office using the “Email this Senator” option on his web page, www.FLSenate.gov/Senators/S37.

For more information, please visit www.FLSenate.gov.


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