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Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report
March 23, 2018 through March 29, 2018
This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week;
however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
Patrol, Protect, Preserve
Officer Pestka was conducting patrols in the Eastpoint area and observed a vessel returning from harvesting oysters. A resource inspection found the subject to be in possession of undersized oysters. After counting and measuring each individual oyster, she determined the bag contained 62% undersized oysters. Officer Pestka cited the subject and returned the oysters to the water alive.
Officer Corbin was on land patrol off Highway 98 on Okaloosa Island and approached a public access parking lot and observed a white van stuck in the protected sand dunes. The driver drove the van off the parking lot and over a parking stop block to access the beach. The vehicle’s rear bumper, was almost touching the ground, and its rear tires and axle were buried in the sand from attempting to get unstuck. The vehicle created a large hole and had driven over vegetation in the sand dunes. The vehicle had also driven over vegetation to get to its location causing damage to the vegetation. The driver was issued a notice to appear citation for driving on coastal dunes or vegetation and damage to public lands.
Officer Corbin was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Destin Harbor and observed a 28-foot Chaparral vessel displaying no vessel registration or decal. The vessel’s stern displayed a hailing port of Destin, Florida. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation for no vessel registration.
Officer Corbin was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections near the entrance to Destin Harbor and officer observed two kayaks, both occupied with an adult and a small child. The life jackets on the children were oversized and not fitting properly. An inspection of the children’s life jackets showed they were U.S. Coast Guard rated for individuals 90 pounds and above. Both children were under 65 pounds. Both kayaks were rented. Due to rough seas and a strong current, Officer Corbin assisted both kayaks in getting back to the dock. The owners of the rental company met Officer Corbin and the renters at the dock. The owners admitted they did not have youth size life jackets for the children. The officer conducted a livery inspection and determined the business was in violation of several statutes and rules. The owner was issued a notice to appear citation for renting a vessel without the proper safety equipment, person providing pre-rental/pre-ride instructions has not completed approved safety course, and boating safety information not properly displayed at livery.
Officer Jarvis responded to a boating accident in the Destin Pass. An operator of a rented personal watercraft (PWC) was ejected off the PWC by rough seas/waves. The operator was separated from the PWC. Good Samaritans from the shore assisted the operator back to the beach. For precautionary measures, the operator was taken to a local hospital and later released with no injuries.
On opening morning of spring turkey season, Officer Hofheinz was working a baited site that had been located. On approach, he heard two subjects using turkey calls as they were actively hunting. The subjects were found to be actively hunting within 60 yards of the baited site and both were cited accordingly.
Officer White located two subjects turkey hunting in a closed portion of Eglin Wildlife Management Area. The subjects had previously been told at an Eglin check station that the area they were in was closed for the day due to an active military mission. Both subjects were charged for entering the closed area and Eglin Security Forces personnel issued a suspension from Eglin property.