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Boating Safety Changes

July 31st, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Unless you are receiving Food Stamps or other government assistance, today was the last day you can fish from shore in Florida without a new seven dollar and fifty cent shoreline license. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, there are also new safety regulations taking effect.

As many as 338 thousand people are expected to need a shore line license. But because the requirement is so new, anglers may get a break for a couple of days.

The officers are not going to lock you up,” Henry Cabbage, Fish and Wildlife Spokesman, said. “Hes going to suggest that before you come back out here tomorrow, you need to get the license.

Boaters also now face a host of new regulations.

Tearing up seagrass beds will cost you 50 dollars for the first time. A fourth offense will clip you for a thousand dollars.

Current law says anyone under 21 must take a boating safety class

But evidence shows the majority of boating accidents are caused by people over 21 who started boating later in life.

From now on, anyone born after January 1st, 1988 will have to have had a boating safety class.

David Lewis took a safety course years ago.

Well it was a good course and it taught a good deal about seamanship, but it didnt have the components of the course that involved the practical realities of operating a boat, Lewis said.

Kids will now have to wear life jackets until they are ten instead of just six. Shonja Metcalf says the lifesavers are a must for her kids.

If the boat’s in gear, if the boat’s on, theyre wearing life jackets, Metcalf said.

Finally, the state is also lowering the blood alcohol level to make it easier to throw the book at really drunk boaters.

The legislation also increases the fee to register a boat from another state by six dollars.

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