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The invisible cost of speeding in no-wake zones and what to check before chartering a boat

Jacksonville, Florida. – It’s National Safe Boating Week, and local and state agencies are working to remind boaters to follow the rules of the water.

Meteorologist Katie Garner got a chance to come out with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to see what issues they deal with firsthand on the St. Johns River.


They say their biggest message to boaters is Slower.

Running a boat the wrong way can cause damage in ways you can’t even see, and the rush effect of moving too fast in a wake area can cause some costly destruction.

“If you’re going too fast in the wake area, and you have docks and boats here, you could push boats onto the docks and could wreck docks or damage ships,” said the FWC’s public information officer. Trevor Hausler.

The ripple effect from moving too quickly into a no-wake zone can cause some costly damage. (WJXT)

Driving too fast in a no-wake zone can have serious consequences when it comes to water pollution. Waking up can push harmful chemicals into the water.

“The water splashes and washes away the dirt and washes the grass,” Haussler said, “it also takes the fertilizer we use in our yards to make it look nice, and it gets put into our waterways.”

Water pollution can kill the wildlife that call the water home.


For those who might be considering chartering a boat, the FWC has a warning that one charterer learned the hard way.

While we were on the water with the FWC, officers stopped a man who violated the cause of wake in the manatee area.

It turned out that he was renting the boat and wasn’t registered on it.

FWC officers stop a boat they say was violating wake-cause in Manatee territory. (WJXT)

When the officers asked him why he didn’t have documents, he said he had rented the boat online. The fire extinguisher was on board very Also expired.

The FWC has said that there are a few checks you should make before chartering a boat.

First, make sure that the body you are hiring from follows the law. They must have proof of insurance, provide boating instructions for renters born during or after 1988 and show them how to operate the boat properly. They must also provide appropriate safety equipment.

Liveries cannot be rented to anyone under the age of 18 and no one under the age of 14 can operate a boat in Florida waters.

So, take a minute to check it all out before you leave by boat. Have someone take a tour of it, look at the fire extinguisher, and check the recording.

Manatee area in general (WJXT)


Manatees, also known as dugongs, are cute animals. They swim and eat and they don’t a reason Many problems, but they face them.

Boat traffic often threatens manatees and boat collisions can be fatal for the slow-moving creatures.

“If they hit hard, it could cause internal damage, it could cause spinal damage,” Haussler said. “We’re dealing with that a little bit.”

Duval County and parts of Clay, St. Johns, and Putnam counties have manatee protection rules year-round. To see maps of the area, click here.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All Rights Reserved.



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