Guide to the Florida Keys & Everglades
By Rick Ferren
Safe Boating Tips
These tips are provided by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
- Avoid areas that appear brown in color. Shallow reef areas and seagrass
beds will appear brown. Brown, brown
- If you run aground immediately turn the engine off. Do not try to motor
off. Wait until high tide to remove the vessel.
Call for assistance when necessary.
- Fines are imposed for damaging seagrasses and coral by running aground.
- Motor slowly parallel to the reef, in deep water, until a mooring buoy
is selected. Turn and idle directly to the buoy
without meandering among other boats. Reverse this procedure when motoring
to another site.
- When in a dive area, slow down to an idle speed. Make sure your bow
is down and the motor or stern is not digging
down deep into the water.
- Use extra caution when boating near charter vessels. The concentration
of divers off these vessels poses a greater
potential for accidents.
- Fishermen, do not troll over or near divers. Stay at least 100 yards
from a red and white "diver's down" flag and watch for bubbles.
- Regulations prohibit littering. Do not discard your chum box, fishing
line, or other trash into the water.
- Hand feeding of fish is discouraged. Such activity changes the natural
behavior and diet of the fish.
- Other rules and regulations apply in various areas of the Florida Keys.
Check with the appropriate governing agencies
for current regulations.
For more information: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, PO Box 500368,
Marathon, FL 33050. Phones: Administration (305) 743-2437, Upper Region (305)
852-7717, Lower Region (305) 292-0311.
Published (print): 1999, Published (Web): January 2003,