Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 578
       By Senator Wright
       14-00622-21                                            2021578__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to marina evacuations; amending s.
    3         327.59, F.S.; prohibiting vessels under a specified
    4         weight from remaining in certain marinas that have
    5         been deemed unsuitable for refuge during a hurricane
    6         after the issuance of a hurricane watch; requiring a
    7         marina owner, operator, employee, or agent to remove
    8         specified vessels under certain circumstances;
    9         providing that such owner, operator, employee, or
   10         agent may charge the vessel owner a reasonable fee for
   11         such removal and may not be held liable for any
   12         damages as a result of such removal; providing
   13         construction; providing that the owners or operators
   14         of certain vessels may be subject to a fine that the
   15         deepwater seaport issuing an evacuation order is
   16         required to impose and collect; providing an effective
   17         date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 327.59, Florida
   22  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (5) is added to that
   23  section, to read:
   24         327.59 Marina evacuations.—
   25         (1) Except as provided in this section After June 1, 1994,
   26  marinas may not adopt, maintain, or enforce policies pertaining
   27  to evacuation of vessels which require vessels to be removed
   28  from marinas following the issuance of a hurricane watch or
   29  warning, in order to ensure that protecting the lives and safety
   30  of vessel owners is placed before interests of protecting
   31  property.
   32         (5)Upon the issuance of a hurricane watch affecting the
   33  waters of marinas located in a deepwater seaport, vessels under
   34  500 gross tons may not remain in the waters of such marinas that
   35  have been deemed not suitable for refuge during a hurricane.
   36  Vessel owners shall promptly remove their vessels from the
   37  waterways upon issuance of an evacuation order by the deepwater
   38  seaport. If the United States Coast Guard captain of the port
   39  sets the port condition to “Yankee” and a vessel owner has
   40  failed to remove a vessel from the waterway, the marina owner,
   41  operator, employee, or agent, regardless of any existing
   42  contractual provisions between the marina owner and the vessel
   43  owner, shall remove the vessel, or cause the vessel to be
   44  removed, if reasonable, from its slip and may charge the vessel
   45  owner a reasonable fee for any such services rendered. A marina
   46  owner, operator, employee, or agent may not be held liable for
   47  any damage incurred to a vessel from a hurricane and is held
   48  harmless as a result of such actions to remove the vessel from
   49  the waterways. Nothing in this section may be construed to
   50  provide immunity to a marina owner, operator, employee, or agent
   51  for any damage caused by intentional acts or negligence when
   52  removing a vessel pursuant to this section. After the hurricane
   53  watch has been issued, the owner or operator of any vessel that
   54  has not been removed from the waterway of the marina, pursuant
   55  to an order from the deepwater seaport, may be subject to a
   56  fine, which must be imposed and collected by the deepwater
   57  seaport that issued the evacuation order if assessed, in an
   58  amount not exceeding three times the cost associated with
   59  removing the vessel from the waterway.
   60         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.