NewsPinellas County


Treasure Island residents urge city leaders to vote in favor of 'no wake zone' near Blind Pass Bridge

Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-30 18:27:52-04

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. — Speeding boaters are causing serious problems for some Treasure Island homeowners.

“It’s a serious danger,” said Hendrick Bisanz.

The issue is specifically impacting people who live near the channel south of the Blind Pass Causeway Bridge.

According to the city, that section is only a “no wake zone" on weekends and holidays.

“You see smaller boats trying to get bigger boats to slow down because they just can’t handle the wake,” said Hendrick.

Hendrick, his wife Bridget and their two daughters have lived on Treasure Island for eight years. They admit, they didn’t care about the speed issue because they didn’t live on the water.

Now, they are in the process of renovating their new house in the neighborhood. They purchased the house in March, and already, their daughters have had several close calls with speeding boaters.

“It was not fun,” 7-year-old Annalise said. “I like to paddleboard but I’m afraid when fast boats go by and make big waves.”

Their neighbors have been complaining about the speeding boaters for years. Some of them even post pictures of dolphins trying to rescue calves hit by boats.

“Now with COVID-19, it’s busy all the time out here,” said Bridget.

The Bisanzs and their neighbors are urging city commissioners to vote in favor of making that area a “no wake zone" seven days a week.

However, most commissioners don’t agree.

“You shouldn’t have to wait until someone is actually hit or drowned by a boat to take action,” Bridget said. “Let’s act now.”

According to the Florida Fish and Wild Life Conservation Commission, Manatee deaths are up 20 percent this year. The FWC says one of the reasons for the increase is that more boaters are out on the water due to COVID-19.

City Commissioners will vote at their meeting Thursday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m.