Examples of Reckless Operation while boating in Florida

Reckless Operation while boating in Florida

It may be considered to be reckless boating if the operator of a pleasure craft fails to exercise the degree of care that is necessary to prevent endangering persons or property.

Examples of reckless operation while boating:

  • Riding on the bow, gunwale or transom of a boat while it is underway.
  • Operating a vessel, skis or any other apparatus between a vessel that is towing and the vessel(s) it is towing.
  • Navigating while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
  • Jumping the wake of another vessel less than 100 feet from that vessel.
  • Driving your boat at such a speed and so close to another vessel that one or both operators must swerve at the last minute to avoid collision.

Anyone who operates a vessel with willful disregard for the safety of persons or property will be cited for reckless operation (a first-degree misdemeanor).

All operators are responsible for operating their vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner with regard to other vessel traffic, posted restrictions, the presence of a divers-down flag and other circumstances so as not to endanger people or property. Failure to do so is considered careless operation (a non-criminal infraction). 

A violation of the Federal Navigation Rules is also a violation of Florida law.

Except in the event of an emergency, it is unlawful to moor or fasten to any lawfully placed navigation aid or regulatory maker.