2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XXIV VESSELS
Chapter 327 VESSEL SAFETY
SECTION 44Interference with navigation; relocation or removal; recovery of costs.
327.44 Interference with navigation; relocation or removal; recovery of costs.—
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Gross negligence” means conduct so reckless or wanting in care that it constitutes a conscious disregard or indifference to the safety of the property exposed to such conduct.
(b) “Willful misconduct” means conduct evidencing carelessness or negligence of such a degree or recurrence as to manifest culpability, wrongful intent, or evil design or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the interests of the vessel owner.
(2) A person may not anchor, moor, or allow to be anchored or moored, except in case of emergency, or operate a vessel or carry on any prohibited activity in a manner which unreasonably or unnecessarily constitutes a navigational hazard or interference with another vessel. Anchoring or mooring under bridges or in or adjacent to heavily traveled channels constitutes interference if unreasonable under the prevailing circumstances.
(3) The commission, officers of the commission, and any law enforcement agency or officer specified in s. 327.70 are authorized and empowered to relocate, remove, or cause to be relocated or removed a vessel that unreasonably or unnecessarily constitutes a navigational hazard or interferes with another vessel. The commission, officers of the commission, or any other law enforcement agency or officer acting under this subsection to relocate, remove, or cause to be relocated or removed a vessel that unreasonably or unnecessarily constitutes a navigational hazard or interferes with another vessel shall be held harmless for all damages to the vessel resulting from such relocation or removal unless the damage results from gross negligence or willful misconduct.
(4) A contractor performing relocation or removal activities at the direction of the commission, officers of the commission, or a law enforcement agency or officer pursuant to this section must be licensed in accordance with applicable United States Coast Guard regulations where required; obtain and carry in full force and effect a policy from a licensed insurance carrier in this state to insure against any accident, loss, injury, property damage, or other casualty caused by or resulting from the contractor’s actions; and be properly equipped to perform the services to be provided.
(5) All costs, including costs owed to a third party, incurred by the commission or other law enforcement agency in the relocation or removal of a vessel that unreasonably or unnecessarily constitutes a navigational hazard or interferes with another vessel are recoverable against the vessel owner. The Department of Legal Affairs shall represent the commission in actions to recover such costs.
History.—s. 4, ch. 63-105; s. 1, ch. 65-361; s. 2, ch. 72-16; s. 1, ch. 2014-143; s. 7, ch. 2017-163.
Note.—Former s. 371.503.