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Weeki Wachee River patrol warns of zero alcohol tolerance, and could soon add deputy

Posted: 6:57 PM, Oct 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-03 06:18:39-04

WEEKI WACHEE, Fla. — Residents on the Weeki Wachee River have been wanting more patrol on the water and they could be getting it soon.

"We have alcohol on the river which is prohibited, we have tree jumping which is not encouraged," said Corporal Steven Kelly with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. 

Kelly is the only full-time law enforcement deputy on all Hernando County waters.

"The majority of my time is on this river because of all the complaints," said Kelly. 

Complaints are being made about alcohol, speeding, and littering caused by the thousands of people who flock to the river each week. Over the summer two SRO's were assigned to help patrol the river, but now it’s just Kelly.

"The biggest issue is alcohol," said Kelly.

The county has zero tolerance for alcohol on the river. Even the kayak companies try to make sure no one brings it. 

"We confiscate it and pour it out," said J.C. Curet, dock staff for Guest Services.

But some people still sneak it onto the river.

Now, thanks to a county contract renegotiation the state park’s kayak vendor who rents land from the county at Roger’s Park, will pay for another full-time marine deputy to patrol the Weeki Wachee River.

The county hopes this will help relieve some bad behavior happening on the water. 

"Come to the river, have some fun, enjoy yourselves, and just abide by the laws," said Kelly.