Longboat Key OKs new swimming areas off Beer Can Island
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Longboat Key officials are restricting boat traffic around Beer Can Island to make swimming in the area safer.
In a 6-0 vote Monday afternoon, the Longboat Key Town Commission approved two designated swimming areas around Beer Can Island, also known as Greer Island. Boating in those new areas is now prohibited and violators can face a $250 fine for the first offense and a $500 fine thereafter.
The two designated areas are along the shoreline on the southeastern side of the island at Longboat Pass bridge and the Land’s End dock, which is private property. The new areas will be marked by buoys in the water.
Beach goers said they were excited about the new changes and would bring more people out to the beach keeping them safe.
“A lot of kids come out here with their families to swim, and boats just come in a lot, so it will be safer for the kids,” said Beer Can Island regular Gabriella Strong.
Town Manager Tom Harmer knows change takes time and said the town will help boaters adjust to the new rules.
“We want to spend time educating and so someone may park there but we’ll just let them know that it’s not going to be appropriate anymore and ask them to leave,” said Harmer.
The changes go into effect immediately but fines will not be issued until July 4.
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