Daytona Police reorganize marine unit to keep boaters safe
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Thousands of boaters took to the waters of central Florida over Memorial Day weekend and law enforcement was there with them.
The Daytona Beach Police Department recently revamped their marine unit with a brand new boat that takes off from the Halifax Harbor Marina but operates throughout the county.
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“The contact and approach to the entire shutdown is one where I want people to walk away having a positive experience,” Constable Nick Gurucharri said.
Gurucharri, a 14-year veteran of the ministry, now heads the maritime unit.
“A lot of it is just communication and so many people I’m in contact with just say I don’t know, or it’s new to me, or I just bought the boat,” he says.
Retail unit sales of new powerboats in the United States hit a 13-year high in 2020, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Unless you were born after 1988, you don’t have to take a boating course before heading to Florida waters.
“It’s not like driving your car on the street. You have current, you have wind, you have other boaters. These things don’t have brakes, ”Gurucharri said.
Daytona Police work with the Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the United States Coast Guard on the river and off the coast. The biggest violation that Gurucharri said he sees is that people are speeding through areas without a wake, affecting not only wildlife and other boaters, but marinas as well.
“It slams the customers’ boats or the boats that are there, that are visiting, against the docks and it causes damage,” he said.
Gurucharri said there were several projects he was also working on, such as citing abandoned and abandoned boats. Landlords go to court for leaving them on public waterways if they don’t act. Daytona Police then work with the FWC to suppress them.
“He cleaned up many areas not only of the unsightly boats sunk in the river, but there was a lot of criminal activity that persisted and moved around these boats,” he said.
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