BOATING AND WATER SAFETY
The Belle Isle Police Department enforces boating safety on Lake Conway with a marine patrol boat and a personal water craft. Marine enforcement officers also perform routine safe boating inspections.
If you need additional information regarding boat operations, please contact the Belle Isle Police Department at (407) 240-2473.
Anyone under 21 with a breath-alcohol level of .02 or higher and operating or controlling a vessel is in violation of Florida law.
Life jackets MUST be worn when on the water. No exceptions.
The U.S. Coast Guard has determined that a paddleboard is a vessel and is required to have the same safety equipment as other small human-powered vessels such as canoes and kayaks.
Unless the paddleboard is being used within a “swimming, surfing or bathing area,” the paddle board must have a USCG-a approved life jacket for each person and a sound-producing device on board while on the water.
Although persons on the paddle board are not required to wear the life jacket while on Florida waters (unless they are less than 6 years of age), it is advisable to find a comfortable life jacket that you can wear or easily carry while on the water.
A “sound-producing device” is a small whistle or horn that can be heard for a least one-half nautical mile. “Referee-type” whistles or other similar devices that can be attached to your life jacket should work well.
If you are operating in limited visibility or at night, you will also need a flashlight or lantern that produces a white light. It should be displayed to approaching vessels in enough time to prevent a collision. The light should not be continually displayed.
If using a paddleboard offshore or on certain coastal waters at nighttime, visual distress signals may be required, per the Code of Federal Regulations.
Personal Watercraft Regulations
Each person operating, riding on, or being towed behind a personal watercraft must wear an approved non-inflatable Type I, II, III or V personal flotation device (PFD). Inflatable PFDs are prohibited for personal watercraft use.
The operator of a personal watercraft must attach the engine cutoff switch lanyard (if equipped by the manufacturer) to his/her person, clothing or PFD.
Personal watercraft may not be operated from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, even if navigation lights are used. Remember, both federal and state law requires the use of navigation lights from sunset to sunrise.
Maneuvering a personal watercraft by weaving through congested vessel traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably close or when visibility around the vessel is obstructed, or swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision is classified as reckless operation of a vessel (a first-degree misdemeanor).
A person must be at least 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft in Florida.
It is unlawful for a person to knowingly allow a person under 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft (a second-degree misdemeanor).
Anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 is required to either have successfully completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating education course or have passed a course equivalency or temporary certificate examination and have in their possession a boating education ID card and a photo identification card before operating a vessel with a motor of 10 HP or more in Florida. Identification cards for persons completing the course or the equivalency exam are good for a lifetime. Temporary Certificate exams are made available to the public through contractors. The temporary certificate is valid for 12 months from the issue date.
Boat access to Lake Conway is available at the following locations:
Randolph Ramp: Intersection of Randolph Ave. and Hoffner Ave.
Perkins Ramp: Intersection of Perkins Rd. and Lake Dr.
Venetian Ramp: Intersection of Parkway Dr. and Pasadena Dr.
Ferncreek Ramp: Intersection of S. Ferncreek Ave. and Waterwitch Dr.