Coast Guard opens temporary hub, warns against recreational boating

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Matthew Seaver
Temporary U.S. coast Guard location at Horton Park in Cape Coral. (Credit: WINK News)

Hurricane Ian washed away the U.S. Coast Guard base of operations on Fort Myers Beach. Now, they are setting up shop in the Cape.

The only people allowed to visit the Horton Park and Boat Ramp right now are Coast Guard members, using the boat ramp in Cape Coral as its new hub after Moss Marina on Fort Myers Beach was destroyed.

Horton Park in Cape Coral. (Credit: WINK News)

Typically, boaters would be able to launch their boats from the ramp here, but for now, this area will be off-limits to all recreational boaters.

The Coast Guard is recommending everyone stay off waterways for the time being anyway. They say many unseen dangers are lurking below the surface that could damage or sink a boat.

As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, many boats were pushed around all across Southwest Florida, leaving behind a toxic mixture of gasoline, diesel, oil, and acid that could cause infections like tetanus if exposed to the skin.

Debris is also a big concern, as many normal navigation channels are not in their usual condition. Some are even impassable.

Coast Guard units are working to restore the aids to navigation damaged during the storm, but throughout recovery efforts, they ask all boaters to remain off the water.

For those chartering boats to areas like Sanibel, the Coast Guard wants to warn everyone they are patrolling to ensure every vessel has a licensed captain. If you are found without one, you could be fined nearly $60,000.

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