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Editor, The Beacon:

I live on the St. Johns River, and am an avid safe boater. Volusia and Lake counties and the City of DeBary are allowing unsafe conditions that concern me for my own and others’ safety.

The 2020 Florida Statutes (Title XXIV, VESSELS; Chapter 327 VESSEL SAFETY; Section 327.46) specify idle speed within 500 feet of a boat ramp, on a blind turn, and within 500 feet of a fuel dock. The posted signs “Slow Speed Minimum Wake” (which has no reasonable definition to an inexperienced boater) instead of “Idle Speed No Wake” at Highbanks create unsafe conditions for those launching or fueling a vessel.

I frequently witness (and have narrowly escaped) dangerous situations at the “25 MPH” Carson Bend blind turn (which, according to state statute, should also be posted as “Idle Speed No Wake).”

If the obligation of local government is to look out for the safety, well-being, and best interest of its residents, rental boats and boating enthusiasts, what possible purpose could there be to not properly marking boating-safety zones with correct signs? 

Tallahassee said correct waterway signs are supplied if municipalities ask for them.

Stefan Bertone



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