Hillsborough County leaders preparing for increased boating traffic ahead of the Super Bowl

Updated: Feb. 1, 2021 at 8:13 PM EST
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TAMPA, Fla. (WWSB) -It’s super bowl week and that means the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County agencies are gearing up to assure everyone has fun in a safe way.

“Enjoy the Super Bowl especially with the Buccs being able to be the first team in history to play in their hometown for the Super Bowl,” said Coast Guard cmndr Commander Moore. He says safety off and on the water is paramount.

“With the upcoming events for the week we’re expecting having an increase in the boating traffic in the Tampa Bay area,” said U.S. Coast Guard public information officer for the Tampa sector petty officer Erik Villa Rodriguez. And while the traffic won’t really impact us several miles south on the Suncoast they do suspect people from bordering counties like ours will be paying a visit.

“We encourage people to stay following the rules. We have a safety area and it’s good for people to take that into consideration,” said Villa Rodriguez. A safety zone put in place beginning on Friday January 29 until Super Bowl Sunday.

“The plan is that if we do get dignitaries coming to the area we will set up what is called a security zone and that will restrict the movement in that location,” said Cmndr. Moore. As for the safety zone, everyone boating in the area will be required to maintain steady speed. Coast Guard leaders say you cannot stop, slow down, or anchor in the area. If you do need to stop you have to notify the coast guard. The Hillsborough sheriff and leaders with the coast guard say they’ll also be on the look out for charters that may not be operating to code and impaired boaters.

“Have fun, enjoy the Super Bowl, but don’t lose your life on the water because of it,” said Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister.

HCSO's Marine Unit is preparing for an increase in traffic on our waterways here in #HillsboroughCounty and #teamHCSO...

Posted by Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on Monday, February 1, 2021

Their hope? That everything flows smoothly. Something they say they’ve been planning for years.

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