HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — Hernando County Waterways workers are replacing lights that guide boaters safely at night after they were shot out.
Six miles off the coast of Hernando County the water is shallow and rocky in a lot of spots, which is why it's the county says it's crucial for there to be lights so boaters can stay safe at night.
Hernando County Waterways manager Keith Kolasa says he doesn’t understand why people are shooting out the navigational lights.
"This one was shot by someone with a 22 rifle," said Kolasa while holding a broken light.
Even the sign below the light was riddled with more than a dozen bullet holes like many other signs on the channel.
"Maybe because they’re out in the middle of nowhere they think it's something they can use as target practice," said Kolasa.
But Kolasa says it's extremely dangerous and a felony. The county is responsible for maintaining the lights and replacing one can cost up to $1000.
The county is now working to replace the broken lights with more efficient brighter solar-powered lights that can last for years with no maintenance.
Kolasa says the county may work with FWC to install cameras on the lights to stop people from vandalizing them.