FWC stays vigilant in enforcing airboat safety regulations

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is responsible for enforcing airboat regulations that went into effect last month. Per F.S. 327.391, airboat operators carrying passengers for hire must complete an Airboat Operators Course.

“Our officers will continue to be vigilant and proactive in checking airboat operators. In addition to routine checks, we’re launching a statewide detail to ensure compliance,” said Col. Curtis Brown, director of FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “We cannot overstate that with this popular recreational activity and economic opportunity comes our critical duty to protect boaters on Florida’s waterways.”

A tragic airboat accident in south Florida was the impetus behind House Bill 1211, known as “Ellie’s Law,” requiring all airboat operators carrying passengers for hire to complete an Airboat Operators Course.  At its June 2018 meeting in Sarasota, the FWC approved the course requirements. There are currently six course providers for this requirement.

“We expect the number of course providers to continue to increase,” Brown said. “This will provide more opportunities for members of the industry to comply with regulations and protect the safety of their passengers.”

For more information, visit MyFWC.com/boating.

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