Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Authorities to fine boaters who toss too many Gasparilla beads into water

Hundreds of boats surround the Jose Gasparilla as the ship makes its way toward downtown Tampa during the annual pirate invasion. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times, 2015]


Hundreds of boats surround the Jose Gasparilla as the ship makes its way toward downtown Tampa during the annual pirate invasion. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times, 2015]

Pirates are known for breaking the rules.

But if you're among those on the water impersonating a buccaneer during the Gasparilla Parade Of Pirates on Saturday, law enforcement reminds you that following the law is a must.

"We are looking for everybody to have a good time," Stephen Decatur, master corporal at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, said during a Thursday press conference on Gasparilla boating safety. "But we want to make sure everyone is safe out there."

Sea life too.

GASPARILLA GUIDE: What you need to know for the parade

Anyone littering the water with beads can be fined $110, said James Boogaerts, a conservation initiative officer for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"Everyone likes to have beads thrown to them, given to them," Boogaerts said. "No one wants to see these beads floating in the water hurting our animals."

If a few beads fall short of their goal and splash, don't expect to be punished. But if the bead count in the water is excessive, there will be a fine.

Gasparilla events kick off at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday when the world's only fully-rigged pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla, begins sailing through the Hillsborough Bay into Seddon Channel between Davis Islands and Harbour Island and finally ports at the Tampa Convention Center around 1 p.m.

Other rules discussed at the news conference Thursday bore repeating, law enforcement officials said.

These include remaining sober if captaining a boat, wearing life jackets, preparing for cold weather, looking out for manatees, watching closely for all the boats in the water.

More than 1,000 sea vessels took part in the Gasparilla event last year, the Coast Guard said.

Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] or (813) 226-3394. Follow @PGuzzoTimes.

Authorities to fine boaters who toss too many Gasparilla beads into water 01/26/17 [Last modified: Thursday, January 26, 2017 3:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  2. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  3. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  5. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]