2016 Columbus Day in Biscayne Bay
PRESS RELEASE 2015 Special regulations are in effect during Columbus Day weekend. A 15 knot speed limit will be enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard in the Intracoastal Waterway from Rickenbacker Causeway to Elliott Key. Boats are directed into a marked anchorage area on the northwest side of Elliott Key. No more than five boats may be rafted together in this area. A minimum of 100 feet is required between single vessels or groups. This allows access for emergency services.
There is zero tolerance for boating under the influence of alcohol, excessive noise, possessing illegal drugs or promoting unauthorized commercial activities. Failure to obey the rules may result in arrest, fines up to $5,000, and the risk of injury, death or property and resource damage. Visitors are encouraged to maintain proper safety and navigation gear, use a sober skipper, prevent littering and not operate boats at night. Boaters should be alert for swimmers or those operating boats under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Safety inspections and “boating under the influence” checks are conducted throughout the weekend by a variety of law enforcement agencies.
Columbus Day in Biscayne Bay
Please Note :There are two separate events in the bay during the Columbus Day Weekend. The first is the Columbus Day Regatta the other is Columbus Day Weekend at Elliot Key. The two events are not connected. They just happen close to each other at the same time.
Columbus Day Regatta
Columbus Day Regatta features nearly 300 different crews, impressing all with the festive time offered during the regatta. The oldest event on Biscayne Bay will be running again as usual, the 57th Annual Columbus Day Regatta. The regatta committee is presenting numerous new venues to revitalize this regatta and bring back the enthusiasm of the past. Come join us and race in the greenest sport on the earth! (The start and finish areas are good for watching the race , following the fleet works too)
By Water 25.475267, 80.194863
Columbus Day Weekend at Elliot Key
WARNING: Don't go to Elliott Key on Columbus Day weekend if peace and quiet is what you seek. Don't go there if it bothers you to see adult beverages consumed in prodigious quantities. Don't go there if you don't want to see bikini tops doffed for beads and beer. Don't go there if you are unwilling to be tossed overboard at the slightest provocation or soaked by some of the biggest damn water guns on the planet. (from the National Park Traveler)
(Image by http://www.fashionbyhe.com)
* Personal Watercrafts are not allowed in Biscayne National Park.
To help ensure your safety and the protection of fragile park resources, all boats must anchor within the marked anchorage area off the northern end of Elliott Key (see handout), with a maximum of 5 boats rafted together, and a minimum distance of 100 feet between rafts of vessels, or between individual, non-rafted vessels. Additionally, the anchoring of vessels immediately outside the "Mandatory Anchorage Area" is prohibited. These special regulations are in effect from 12:01 am on Friday, October 9 through 11:59 pm on Monday, October 12, 2015 These regulations are in place to allow emergency vessels to navigate to and through the area as quickly as possible.
Special Emphasis on Existing Regulations: Arrests Will Occur!
• Unmanned Aircraft: The use of unmanned aircraft is prohibited in Biscayne National Park except in very specific circumstances. For more information on the park's unmanned aircraft policy please click here.
• Unauthorized Business Operations: Charters and the sales of food, drink, beads, etc. are prohibited.
• Commercial Advertising: Displaying advertising banners on vessels or aircraft is prohibited.
• Noise: Vessels with external speakers broadcasting excessively loud music will be cited and the speaker wire will be confiscated.
• "Stay Parked After Dark": While no official curfew will be in place for the weekend, remember that all the fatalities and the majority of the boating accidents that have occurred over recent Columbus Day Weekends have occurred after sunset. Stay on your boat and remain in the anchorage after sunset.
• Additional Aids to Navigation
In an effort to protect fragile shoals, improve boater safety, and help direct boaters around the extremely shallow areas and through the Featherbed Banks, Biscayne National Park is installing fourteen fixed shoal markers around the Featherbeds. The park hopes that these new markers, in addition to existing markers and navigational aids, will result in fewer vessel groundings in the area.
Boaters should be alert for swimmers or those operating boats under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Safety inspections and "boating under the influence" checks are conducted throughout the weekend.
Coast Guard Suggestions:
Here are a few safety tips to remember before you head out this weekend:
1. Don't drink and boat. Be responsible with drinks aboard. Designate a "sober skipper" before departing the dock.
2. Remain anchored and on your vessel, particularly after dark. While no official curfew will be in place for the weekend, it is in your best interest to "stay parked after dark."
3. Check your safety gear to ensure it works. File a float plan with a friend or at a marina. A float plan form can be found at www.floatplancentral.org. Remember to wear your lifejackets and make sure you have flares and a working VHF-FM marine radio onboard. Another potentially life-saving device to invest in is an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).
4. Groundings are costly to your boat, your engine, and the environment. To avoid groundings make sure to have navigational charts or an electronic navigation system onboard and learn to properly use them before you head out on the water.
5. Please remain at anchor from sunrise to sunset.
6. Help protect marine life, the environment and your boat engine. Dispose of trash and plastic bags properly.
With your cooperation, we can make this a safe and enjoyable Columbus Day Weekend in Biscayne Bay.
Note :this video is mislabeled it is Columbus Day Weekend at Elliot Key not the Regatta