To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
added new boating requirements to reduce large gatherings.
Under the new order signed by the commission’s Executive Director, Eric Sutton, Recreational vessels cannot carry more than 10 people or be within 50 feet of another vessel. Violating those regulations would be considered a “hazard to public safety.”
“The Commission has observed and received numerous reports from across the state that large numbers of vessels are congregating together in various locations across the state, tying up or anchoring close together, and individuals are often leaving their vessels and assembling closely in shallow water,” according to the order.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended people not gather in groups of 10 or more individuals to promote social distancing. Additionally, it recommends people should keep at least six feet apart from one another.
Sutton’s executive order is to last the duration of the coronavirus state of emergency, declared March 9.
The distance limitations do not apply to mooring fields, public or private marinas or any other permanently installed wet slips. While on the water, the restriction applies to vessels tied, rafted or moored together.
Recently, Sutton moved to close its Tallahassee offices to the public and to limit operations statewide to help facilitate social distances. Any licenses that would have expired in March or April were extended 30 days.
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