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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XXIV
VESSELS
Chapter 327
VESSEL SAFETY
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F.S. 327.4107
327.4107 Vessels at risk of becoming derelict on waters of this state.
(1) To prevent vessels in neglected or deteriorating condition from reaching a likely and foreseeable state of disrepair, a vessel that is at risk of becoming derelict pursuant to subsection (2) may not anchor on, moor on, or occupy the waters of this state.
(2) An officer of the commission or of a law enforcement agency specified in s. 327.70 may determine that a vessel is at risk of becoming derelict if any of the following conditions exist:
(a) The vessel is taking on or has taken on water without an effective means to dewater.
(b) Spaces on the vessel that are designed to be enclosed are incapable of being sealed off or remain open to the elements for extended periods of time.
(c) The vessel has broken loose or is in danger of breaking loose from its anchor.
(d) The vessel is listing due to water intrusion.
(e) The vessel does not have an effective means of propulsion for safe navigation within 72 hours after the vessel owner or operator receives telephonic notice, in-person notice recorded on an agency-approved body camera, or written notice, which may be provided by facsimile, electronic mail, or other electronic means, stating such from an officer, and the vessel owner or operator is unable to provide a receipt, proof of purchase, or other documentation of having ordered necessary parts for vessel repair. The commission may adopt rules to implement this paragraph.
(3) A person who anchors or moors a vessel at risk of becoming derelict on the waters of this state or allows such a vessel to occupy such waters commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable as provided in s. 327.73.
(4) The penalty under this section is in addition to other penalties provided by law.
(5) The commission, an officer of the commission, or a law enforcement agency or officer specified in s. 327.70 may relocate or cause to be relocated an at-risk vessel found to be in violation of this section to a distance greater than 20 feet from a mangrove or upland vegetation. The commission, an officer of the commission, or a law enforcement agency or officer acting pursuant to this subsection upon waters of this state shall be held harmless for all damages to the at-risk vessel resulting from such relocation unless the damage results from gross negligence or willful misconduct as these terms are defined in s. 823.11.
(6) This section does not apply to a vessel that is moored to a private dock or wet slip with the consent of the owner for the purpose of receiving repairs.
(7) The commission may establish a derelict vessel prevention program to address vessels at risk of becoming derelict. Such program may, but is not required to, include:
(a) Removal, relocation, and destruction of vessels declared a public nuisance, derelict or at risk of becoming derelict, or lost or abandoned in accordance with s. 327.53(7), s. 327.73(1)(aa), s. 705.103(2) and (4), or s. 823.11(3).
(b) Creation of a vessel turn-in program allowing the owner of a vessel determined by law enforcement to be at risk of becoming derelict in accordance with this section to turn his or her vessel and vessel title over to the commission to be destroyed without penalty.
(c) Providing for removal and destruction of an abandoned vessel for which an owner cannot be identified or the owner of which is deceased and no heir is interested in acquiring the vessel.
(d) Purchase of anchor line, anchors, and other equipment necessary for securing vessels at risk of becoming derelict.
(e) Creating or acquiring moorings designated for securing vessels at risk of becoming derelict.

The commission may adopt rules to implement this subsection. Implementation of the derelict vessel prevention program shall be subject to appropriation by the Legislature and shall be funded by the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund or the Florida Coastal Protection Trust Fund.

History.s. 1, ch. 2016-108; s. 4, ch. 2017-163; s. 12, ch. 2021-184.