The Lakes Patrol Unit is an auxiliary unit that was established to promote boating safety and enforce all the boating laws mandated by State statute, City ordinance and Coast Guard regulations within the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. In addition to conducting enforcement, officers assigned to lakes patrol also perform vessel safety inspections, conduct Junior Boatsman and Commercial Vessel Operator’s classes, assist vessels in distress and investigate marine related crashes. The unit currently has two boats and a wave runner assigned.
Common City Boating Regulations
- The length of any boat to be launched or operated on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes shall be less than 21 feet. No boat exceeding a width of 8 feet shall enter any canal.
- Winter Park City Ordinance requires that all minors under 18 years of age be licensed by the police department to operate a vessel on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. In addition to the city license, the State of Florida requires that persons born after September 30, 1980 complete a NASBLA boater education course or competency exam prior to operating a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or more. The How to Boat Smart course, available at the Winter Park Police Department, meets these requirements and is NASBLA approved. The law requires that persons affected by this legislation have in their possession a boater safety identification card issued by the Department of Environmental Protection and photographic I.D. while operating a vessel.
- No person under 14 years of age may operate a personal water craft.
- All vessels operated on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes must be registered in accordance with state law and display the assigned registration decal. All Florida State Laws and United States Coast Guard Regulations pertaining to vessel operation apply and are Strictly enforced on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes.
- Winter Park City Ordinance requires that the owner of all vessels operated on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes pay a user fee to the city. Annual or day passes may be purchased at City Hall or the Winter Park Library Monday-Friday and at the Winter Park Library Saturday and Sunday.
- Winter Park City Ordinance requires that all vessels participating in water skiing, tubing, or wake-boarding type activities have an observer other than the operator of the vessel on board facing aft. This includes personal watercraft when towing participants engaged in a water sport.
- Winter Park City Ordinance states that wake-boarding and similar activities shall not be allowed on Lake Mizell.