Why Anchorage Restrictions and Random Boat Searches Are Hurting the Florida Marine Industry
We have been asked, and will do so, to protect the author of the article below as a “confidential source.” All I will say is that the author is a fellow journalist, and her/his remarks deserve the most serious attention of both the cruising community and Florida governmental authorities.
It’s sentiments like these that are driving people, particularly cruisers, away from the Sunshine State. All of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ continue to be concerned about the reputation that Florida is garnering in the cruising community and beyond. I guess all that any of us can do is to keep fighting the good fight!
For several decades we have worked with the goal of retiring back to our native state of Florida. We have purchased a home in the Sarsota area with plans to move our boat there from the Chesapeake. We have read with some dismay about the mooring fields issue that seems to be pervading the state. But we were shocked to read about the “Lights Out” boarding by a cadre of federal,, state and local law enforcement officials invading the privacy of boaters in the Sarasota area, apparently under the pretense of “Homeland Security.”
What gives them the right to invade someone’s home just because that home floats? Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution forbid entering someone’s private residence without a search warrant? Doesn’t a boat qualify as a private residence? After all, you sleep and eat there.
Didn’t our founding fathers stake their lives and thousands of American military personnel die to fight against such government abuses?
A police officer cannot stop a vehicle at random just because he or she feels like it.
It seems that Florida politicans, and law enforcement agencies, are declaring a defacto war on people who cruise that state’s waterways. Perhaps this needs national attention to let Americans decide what’s really happening to the freedoms boaters once enjoyed.
Name Withheld by Request