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Inconsiderate boaters on the canals

By Staff | Nov 3, 2010

To the editor,

The season has begun! As I sit on my verandah overlooking the main canal running parallel with Causeway Blvd. past Harbour Cottages and Tennisplace into the Bay, there has suddenly been a noticeable increase in waterborne traffic.

Until recently, permanent Sanibel residents and other regular boat users have gently plied their way along the canal, with most keeping well within the speed limit and no wake rule. However, new arrivals can easily be recognized by their selfish and thoughtless disregard — or ignorance — of these requirements as they cruise merrily along, utterly oblivious of the threat they pose to wildlife — such as manatee and dolphin, which frequent the canal — and the potential longer term damage to the canal walls, boat docks and boats moored alongside.

When I try to signal the need to slow down, I often receive a friendly wave in reply or, less frequent, a surprisingly rude retort. The Marine Police are rarely seen on this stretch of water and there is an urgent need for a stronger presence, particularly at peak times in the morning and evening. It would also be helpful if some more prominent signs could be placed on the longer stretches of the canal to remind all boaters of the speed and wake restrictions, and of the need to be considerate.

Michael J F Wardroper