9 People Rescued From Sarasota Boat Fire

9 People Rescued From Sarasota Boat Fire

Over the weekend, a nightmare unfolded on a boat in Sarasota Bay. Out of nowhere, a fire erupted on a 24-foot vessel. It started when the boat owner heard the motor sputtering. There was smoke in the hood, which the blower began to remove, but the owner quickly realized the boat was on fire.  Fortunately, within minutes, nearby boaters surrounded the burning vessel to assist. Black smoke was barreling from the boat as the nine people aboard jumped into the water. The fire was extinguished within 10 minutes, and everyone aboard was safe.  Fortunately, this type of intense fire isn’t common. It was a close call, but everyone made it back to shore safely.  ...
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Boat Engine Cutoff Switch Law Now In Effect

Boat Engine Cutoff Switch Law Now In Effect

Effective April 1st, there are new engine cutoff device wear requirements for recreational boaters on vessels less than 26 feet. These devices, referred to as engine cutoff switches (ECOS), are used to prevent a boating injury if an operator is accidentally thrown overboard while underway.  Engine cutoff devices can be located at the helm of the boat or the body of an outboard engine and usually connect a boat’s operator to the cutoff switch with a lanyard. Some don’t use a lanyard and rely on wireless proximity devices to shut down the engine immediately if the operator goes overboard.  Exceptions to this requirement include if the main helm of the boat is an enclosed cabin or the boat is operating below displacement speed. For example, boaters who are fishing or docking do not need to use an ECOS. This new law is applicable to all federally navigable waterways. States do not have the ability to enforce the new ECOS regulation, though a few...
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Everglades Funding Will Likely Boost Florida’s Fishing Tourism

Everglades Funding Will Likely Boost Florida’s Fishing Tourism

Governor Ron DeSantis recently outlined his plan for Everglades restoration and water projects, requesting $625 million to back them. Now, the governor has been allotted $161 million more than he requested by the State Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate proposal includes $786 million for Everglades restoration and water projects. Many Florida residents are thrilled about this development. Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, effusively praised Governor DeSantis for keeping his promises of restoring the Everglades.  The Florida fishing community is also overjoyed about the additional funds. They’ve been an advocate for cleaner water and have supported the Everglades Foundation for ages.  Clean water, an abundance of lively fish, and environmental efforts and restoration continue to showcase Florida as one of the top fishing destinations in the United States. When the water is polluted and fish are dying, tourism in the fishing community will decrease.  Fortunately, over the past couple of years, there’s been more awareness around caring for...
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Anastasia Island: Music By The Sea Concerts Will Continue

Anastasia Island: Music By The Sea Concerts Will Continue

In St. Augustine, Music by the Sea Concerts at the pier pavilion add an extra dose of sunshine to the summer months.  Last year, the concerts were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the St. Augustine Beach Civic Association hopes to keep the beach music playing this summer. They’re expected to run every Wednesday from May 26th through September 1st.  Capacity has not yet been determined, though it’s projected to be anywhere from 300 to 500 people.  The concert series is free, but tickets are required in order to enforce the capacity limit and will be available online.  This family-friendly series features a variety of musical artists each week. You can hear everything from blues, classic rock, jazz, reggae, pop, disco, and country on the pier!  ...
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7 Ways To Prepare Your Boat For Spring

7 Ways To Prepare Your Boat For Spring

Spring is almost here, and boat enthusiasts are no doubt itching to get out on the water. Whether you’re planning to go fishing, cruising, or exploring, here are seven ways to get your boat ready for spring.  1. Give it a good wash.Spring is a great time to wax, wash, and detail your boat. Winter can leave it looking and feeling grimy, so wash it clean before you embark on your first spring journey.  2. Use quality products.Don’t use any non-marine cleaning products on your boat. Automobile products can damage your boat’s vinyl or canvassing, so stick to marine products that will leave your boat in tip top shape.  3. Clear the bilge.Rain and melted snow can seep into the bilge. Pump the water out before you put you boat in the water.  4. Charge your battery.Before you head out, make sure your battery is fully charged.  5. Complete a thorough safety check.This is a perfect opportunity to check your navigation lights, the boat’s horn,...
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Tampa Bay Boat Show Returned to Florida State Fairgrounds

Tampa Bay Boat Show Returned to Florida State Fairgrounds

One of the largest boat shows returned to Tampa Bay March 5th-7th for a three-day event presented by the Tampa Bay Times.  Visitors perused yachts, cruisers, pontoons, jet skis, kayaks, and paddleboards all weekend. Visitors were also able to check out the latest boating and fishing supplies. This boat show is a vital part of Tampa Bay’s economy. Visitors were required to wear a mask indoors, social distancing was encouraged, and all CDC guidelines were followed.  ...
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Celebrate Manatee County All Month Long with These Fun Events!

Celebrate Manatee County All Month Long with These Fun Events!

The 42nd annual Manatee Heritage Days takes place throughout March. This month will feature special exhibits, lectures, walking tours, and more. Here are some of the unique events on the roster!  All Month: Jiggs Landing Heritage Foods: Jiggs Landing Outpost will offer local favorites such as sour orange pie, swamp cabbage and smoked mullet dip throughout March. Purchase tickets for this limited time menu now! jiggslanding.com New Exhibits Open at Florida Maritime Museum: The “Caught in the Storm: 100 Years of Florida Hurricanes” exhibit, commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the 1921 storm that hit the Tampa Bay coast and showcasing a timeline of Florida hurricanes throughout the last century, is on display in the temporary exhibit room. This exhibit can also be experienced online and outdoors on the museum grounds. Indoor museum visits are by appointment only, 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. floridamaritimemuseum.org Self-Guided Walking Tour of Palmetto: Courtesy of Manatee County Agricultural Museum and Palmetto Historical Park, enjoy historic downtown Palmetto with...
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Visiting Fort Lauderdale: Where Can You Go Boating?

Visiting Fort Lauderdale: Where Can You Go Boating?

Fort Lauderdale contains 165 miles of gorgeous, mansion-lined canals. Some people have even compared the city to Venice, Italy. Boats are a way of life there, and sunshine is abundant. If you’re planning a visit, getting out on the water is absolutely essential. If you’re wondering where to go boating during your trip to Fort Lauderdale, keep reading.  Boat RentalsBoat rental companies, such as GetMyBoat and YachtsUp, offer a variety of rides. You can charter a private yacht or rent a catamaran, pontoon, or jet ski. Once you choose a boat, you can pick it up at the marina where it’s docked.  Spots To CruiseYou don’t need a specific itinerary to have a great day on the water. All you need to do is float around Fort Lauderdale’s many canals. Fortunately, the area is very easy to navigate because the canals are deep and there aren’t a lot of shoals. If it’s too windy and the ocean is too rough, the canals...
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Boating Safety Classes Offered by Fort Myers Power Squadron

Boating Safety Classes Offered by Fort Myers Power Squadron

Are you located in Fort Myers? Another boating safety course is being offered, this time in Fort Myers! America’s Boating Club Fort Myers is holding a NASBLA-approved course that will cover all general boating information, including boating safety, boating laws and regulations, navigation, and boat handling. At the moment, Fort Myers Power Squadron is the only area squadron offering in-person safety classes during the pandemic. Appropriate safety precautions will be taken during the course.  Registration begins on Sunday, March 7th from 2pm to 2:30pm at the squadron building, 314 Royalston Avenue in Fort Myers. The actual course will take place the following two weekends, on Sunday March 14th (from 2pm-6pm) and Sunday March 21st (from 2pm-6:30pm). Upon passing the final exam and graduation, the necessary paperwork will be issued for graduates to receive a Florida Boater ID card. The cost is $50 for a single person, or $60 for a couple. Complimentary refreshments will be served.  The Fort Myers Power Squadron is the...
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Lakeland Boating Safety Course: Feb 20th & 21st

Lakeland Boating Safety Course: Feb 20th & 21st

Are you located near Lakeland? If so, this announcement is for you!  America’s Boating Club Lakeland will present America’s Boating Course in two half day sessions on February 20th and 21st. This class teaches basic boating safety over the span of eight hours of classroom instruction and competes the requirements for the Florida Boater ID Card.  The class will be presented at Old Salt Marine, 1918 U.S. 98 North in Lakeland, and will run from 8am to 1pm both days. Check in begins at 7:45am. At the end of Sunday’s class, an exam will be held to complete the course. This exam will include 60 multiple choice questions.  Pre-registration is required and costs $50 per person. For more information or to register, call America’s Boating Club Lakeland at 863-667-9047.  ...
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