NewsPinellas County


Law enforcement marine units keeping a close eye on the water this holiday weekend

Clearwater PD marine unit
Posted at 11:17 PM, May 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-29 23:17:12-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — It’s a busy weekend for Tampa Bay area beaches as people celebrate the first holiday since pandemic restrictions relaxed a little.

“It’s beautiful. I love seeing all the people, I love seeing people having a good time, and just people starting to enjoy themselves again,” said Don Brown, who is visiting Florida from Virginia.

Not only are the beaches full of people, but the water is full of boaters, too. The Clearwater Police Department and FWC have got marine units out all over the Tampa Bay area enforcing water safety for boaters.

“Memorial Day weekend there’s gonna be more boats than usual out here. I think there’s more boats out here this year than last year, due to corona, everyone bought a boat,” said Clearwater Police Officer James Perz.

Law enforcement are watching for all kinds of violations on the water to ensure everyone gets home safely.

“There’s wake violations where people are traveling too fast in zones where they shouldn’t be, registration violations, same as the road, when people seem like they’ve maybe had too much to drink or are driving reckless, we’ll work with that,” said Officer Perz.

They say the majority of people are following the rules, but when they aren’t, their primary goal is education.

“We’re out here, not to wreck peoples weekends, but to make sure everyones having a good time and being safe,” said Officer Perz.

Marine units from Clearwater Police Department and FWC are constantly patrolling Tampa Bay area waters, but they’re keeping an extra close eye out this weekend, as more people hit the water.