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 Marine Unit on Patrol


Sheriff Marine Patrol Enforcing Waterway Rules

Sheriff's Deputy Corporal Mike LaRoche reported on Marine Patrol activities over the Memorial Day weekend:
"Deputy Lawless and I have been aggressively enforcing waterway rules in the Gulf Harbors and other waterfront communities and made several solid marine resource cases in addition to boating safety violations," he reported. On Saturday (Memorial Day), Marine Deputy Lawless stopped a personal watercraft coming into the Gulf Harbors community. Upon contacting the male operator, Dep. Lawless immediately detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on the person. He conducted a dockside boarding of the vessel and after performing standard field sobriety tasks, the subject was subsequently arrested for Boating Under the Influence and transported to Land O' Lakes jail. The vessel was secured for a short time at the Gulf Harbors Yacht Club until the defendant's family could retrieve it."

"Additionally, on the following Sunday night, we were called out to assist patrol division when a neighbor reported a suspicious (unlighted) vessel being operated in the South channel between the Floramar and Galleon canals. Residents were suspicious and assumed this vessel may be casing residences or committing burglaries. We launched our 19' patrol vessel and found the vessel within a few minutes. Upon stopping the vessel, we found it to be an adult resident fishing with two juveniles. We conducted a safety check of the vessel and cited several boating safety problems and noted some marine resource violations. These folks were not involved in any criminal activity."

Gulf Harbors residents appreciate the efforts of the Sheriff's Marine Unit to continue to insure that boating in and around our lovely community remains safe and enjoyable. As a reminder: drinking and 'skippering' don't mix. Also, due to past boat theft rings active in the area, make sure your night lights are on if boating after dark.

Posted On Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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