During the week of July 18 to 24, Officers Allen, Marlow, Stephens, Jones, Martin, Harrison, Anderson and Nelson conducted a boating safety detail working the Apalachicola Bay area. There were 52 vessels and 111 users checked, resulting in eight citations and 35 warnings issued. This included multiple cases for commercial possession of undersized oysters, a BUI arrest, and medical emergency assistance.
Marlow and Jones were working Apalachicola River and observed a vessel operating up river. The vessel eventually drove up into the marsh. The officers went to investigate and Allen, Stephens and Martin, in a separate vessel, went to investigate as well. Upon coming on scene, the vessel was observed still in forward gear with the operator slumped over the steering wheel and unresponsive. The operator was eventually awakened after several minutes, transported to EMS for evaluation and refused treatment. The operator showed signs of impairment and field sobriety tasks were completed. The operator was arrested for boating under the influence.
While working the Cherokee Sink Tract of Wakulla Springs State Park, Marlow observed two vehicles parked on the west-side boundary and tracked several sets of foot tracks to an eight-foot fence that is posted “No Trespassing.” The tracks continued onto the other side and down to the sink.
Marlow located 14 individuals at the sink. Officers Raker, Maynard and Anderson arrived to assist and 17 warnings and six citations were issued to the group ranging from fee evasion, unlawful entry, and alcoholic beverage consumption.
Officers Gore and Hellett were conducting surveillance at the St. Andrews Park jetties when they observed two snorkelers with pole spears and no dive flag working the jetty rocks. After about 20 minutes, the snorkelers were checked and found to possess a speared spade fish. A citation was issued for spear fishing in a state park and written warnings issued for the dive flag violation.
Officer Forehand was working in a covert capacity in the Caryville area, in Washington County, when he observed several subjects preparing three separate vessels to go fishing on the Choctawhatchee River. He noted the subjects were loading the vessels with coolers and nets and no fishing poles. He also overheard them talking about chains and cables.
Forehand waited for them to return and contacted K-9 Officer Guy to respond to the area for assistance. Shortly after sunset, the three vessels returned to the boat ramp a few minutes apart. Forehand made contact with the subjects in an attempt to view any obvious violations. The subjects acted very nervous and seemed eager to recover their vessels and depart the area.
Forehand identified himself and began to conduct a resource inspection of the subjects and their vessels. Guy arrived on scene to assist. The subjects had numerous catfish in each vessel and no legal fishing gear upon inspection. During the inspections, one of the subjects admitted to using a shocking device to catch the fish and disclosed its location in one of the vessels. He also disclosed the location of the cables and chains used to shock the fish. Seven subjects were issued citations for taking freshwater fish by illegal method.