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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Local law enforcement will be in full force on the water for Columbus Day weekend, considered the most dangerous weekend of the year for boating.
“Our goal is obviously zero incidents, zero accidents and if we do not make a DUI arrest this weekend then we would have really met that goal,” said Chief Charles Press with Key Biscayne Police.
Biscayne National Park is partnering with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies from October 10th to the 12th to keep the peace in the area and protect visitors.
“We hope that visitors safely enjoy this national treasure over the holiday weekend,” said Superintendent Brian Carlstrom. ”The wonders of the park are best experienced safely and responsibly.”
Authorities are asking those taking to the water to be cautious and keep within the regulations.
U.S. Coast Guard crews will make sure boaters keep within the allowed navigational speeds of 15 knots in the Intracoastal Waterway from Rickenbacker Causeway to Elliott Key.
Boats will be directed to a marked anchorage area on the northwest side of Elliott Key. At that spot, no more than five boats may be tied together and there must be a minimum of 100 feet between single vessels or groups. This is meant to allow access to emergency crews.
Authorities said there will also be zer0 tolerance for boating under the influence, excessive noise, possessing illegal drugs or promoting unauthorized commercial activities.
Boaters are also asked to keep an eye out for swimmers in their area.
Various law enforcement agencies will also be conducting safety inspections and “boating under the influence checks.” Those who opt not to follow regulations may face arrest or fines up to $5,000.