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2016 Florida Statutes

Anchoring of vessels in anchoring limitation areas.
F.S. 327.4108
327.4108 Anchoring of vessels in anchoring limitation areas.
(1) The following densely populated urban areas, which have narrow state waterways, residential docking facilities, and significant recreational boating traffic, are designated as anchoring limitation areas:
(a) The section of Middle River lying between Northeast 21st Court and the Intracoastal Waterway in Broward County.
(b) Sunset Lake in Miami-Dade County.
(c) The sections of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County lying between:
1. Rivo Alto Island and Di Lido Island.
2. San Marino Island and San Marco Island.
3. San Marco Island and Biscayne Island.
(2) To promote the public’s use and enjoyment of the designated waterway, except as provided in subsections (3) and (4), a person may not anchor a vessel at any time during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise in an anchoring limitation area.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a person may anchor a vessel in an anchoring limitation area:
(a) If the vessel suffers a mechanical failure that poses an unreasonable risk of harm to the vessel or the persons onboard unless the vessel anchors. The vessel may anchor for 3 business days or until the vessel is repaired, whichever occurs first.
(b) If imminent or existing weather conditions in the vicinity of the vessel pose an unreasonable risk of harm to the vessel or the persons onboard unless the vessel anchors. The vessel may anchor until weather conditions no longer pose such risk. During a hurricane or tropical storm, weather conditions are deemed to no longer pose an unreasonable risk of harm when the hurricane or tropical storm warning affecting the area has expired.
(c) During events described in s. 327.48 or other special events, including, but not limited to, public music performances, local government waterfront activities, or fireworks displays. A vessel may anchor for the lesser of the duration of the special event or 3 days.
(4) This section does not apply to:
(a) Vessels owned or operated by a governmental entity for law enforcement, firefighting, military, or rescue purposes.
(b) Construction or dredging vessels on an active job site.
(c) Vessels actively engaged in commercial fishing.
(d) Vessels engaged in recreational fishing if the persons onboard are actively tending hook and line fishing gear or nets.
(5)(a) As used in this subsection, the term “law enforcement officer or agency” means an officer or agency authorized to enforce this section pursuant to s. 327.70.
(b) A law enforcement officer or agency may remove a vessel from an anchoring limitation area and impound the vessel for up to 48 hours, or cause such removal and impoundment, if the vessel operator, after being issued a citation for a violation of this section:
1. Anchors the vessel in violation of this section within 12 hours after being issued the citation; or
2. Refuses to leave the anchoring limitation area after being directed to do so by a law enforcement officer or agency.
(c) A law enforcement officer or agency acting under this subsection to remove or impound a vessel, or to cause such removal or impoundment, shall be held harmless for any damage to the vessel resulting from such removal or impoundment unless the damage results from gross negligence or willful misconduct.
(d) A contractor performing removal or impoundment services at the direction of a law enforcement officer or agency pursuant to this subsection must:
1. Be licensed in accordance with United States Coast Guard regulations, as applicable.
2. Obtain and carry a current policy issued by a licensed insurance carrier in this state to insure against any accident, loss, injury, property damage, or other casualty caused by or resulting from the contractor’s actions.
3. Be properly equipped to perform such services.
(e) In addition to the civil penalty imposed under s. 327.73(1)(z), the operator of a vessel that is removed and impounded pursuant to paragraph (b) must pay all removal and storage fees before the vessel is released. A vessel removed pursuant to paragraph (b) may not be impounded for longer than 48 hours.
(6) A violation of this section is punishable as provided in s. 327.73(1)(z).
(7) This section expires upon the Legislature’s adoption of the commission’s recommendations for the regulation of mooring vessels outside of public mooring fields pursuant to s. 327.4105.
History.s. 1, ch. 2016-96.