Boaters in SWFL prepare for Isaac
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Tropical storm Isaac has many boaters on edge tonight. They plan on protecting their investments by pulling their boats out of the water. Our team coverage continues tonight with Mike Mason who hit the marinas around St. James City today, finding out what boaters are doing to prepare.
A couple of boaters we spoke with say they're going to ride out the storm but most say they're not taking any chances as Isaac approaches. Just the threat of a hurricane hitting Southwest Florida is sending a ripple effect throughout the boating community.
Lisa Dence: "The guys who own the smaller boats you know your 20 footers, 24 footers they're pulling them out putting them on their trailers bringing them home. The bigger boats they're making sure that they're tied down good."
Lisa Dence owns Old Fish House Marina in Matlacha. It's usually bustling with dozens of boaters but today only 4 boats remain, owners pulling them out of the water as Isaac approaches even though most here feel the storm will blow over.
Lisa Dence: "They don't seem to be too worried about the storm. 70 mile an hour winds, we went through Charlie, we should be fine."
But Captain Gene Becker's not taking any chances, coasting the waterways in St. James City, reeling in his crab traps before the storm moves in.
Captain Gene Becker: "With the wind and everything the traps might not be there when we get back if you have a little bit of wind the traps will move and who knows where they're going to go."
After pulling traps, Becker trailered his boat today but he has a lot more riding on another boat he owns; the Fort Myers Princess. That's why he's getting on the horn now, .preparing to drive the 75-footer from the beach to a marina in Downtown Fort Myers where it should be safe and secure.
Captain Gene Becker: "It'll be tied in between pilings and a slip so it's a lot more protected there than the beach. You won't get the storm surge that we'll get at the beach, I say storm surge but it's more tide, you know if the tide comes up 4 or 5 feet it's a problem down at the beach."
Officials say boats that are kept in the water can become projectiles during the storm surge and are extremely dangerous. That's why it's so important to make sure they're safely secured.