News Releases

FWC to begin education efforts on new Palm Beach Co. boating safety zone

News Release

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has installed signs marking a new boating safety zone on the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach County. With the signs now in place, officers will begin the education phase of the enforcement plan for the new zone.

As depicted in the map, the new zone begins 300 feet north of the Donald Ross Road Bridge and continues south of the Parker Bridge, where the Intracoastal Waterway enters Lake Worth Lagoon. The zone requires that boats operate at slow speed, minimum wake, which means that boats are fully off plane, completely settled in the water and making little or no wake.

"When we analyzed boating accident data for this area, it became clear that slowing down boats through this stretch of the Intracoastal Waterway will protect the public better," said Capt. David Schaeffer of the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement. "We were also a bit surprised to learn that traveling through here at slow speed, minimum wake takes no longer than the current mix of idle speed zones broken up with short, 25-mph zones.

The FWC urges boaters using this section of the Intracoastal Waterway to pay extra attention to the new signs marking the zone.

"It is imperative that boat operators understand what slow speed, minimum wake means and comply with the restriction. A boat that is fully off plane, completely settled in the water and traveling at a speed that produces little or no wake is traveling at slow speed, minimum wake," Schaeffer said. "The FWC and our law enforcement partners will be working hard to ensure compliance with the zones on this stretch of the Intracoastal Waterway."

The second phase of the project, marking the remainder of the new and updated boating safety zones on the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach County, will begin in August. For more information, visit MyFWC.com/Boating to access state boating safety regulations and maps.



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