Incidents at the north end of Longboat Key involving boaters and fishermen have netted the attention of both residents and police.
Longtime Lands End resident Tom Mayers reported in an Oct. 7 email to Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming and the Longboat Key Town Commission that a group of fisherman got too close for comfort when he and a friend were swimming last weekend off of Beer Can Island.
“They fished closer and closer to where we were swimming until after about a half-hour, there was one man fishing on either side of us, less than 10 feet away and casting close to us, as if to scare us away from someplace we were swimming and that they wanted to fish,” Mayers wrote.
Mayers and other Lands End residents feel aggressive behavior from boaters and fishermen is becoming increasingly common both in their neighborhood and the public Beer Can Island beach located nearby.
Both in Lands End canals and on Beer Can Island, Mayers has noticed illegal spearfishing.
Around Lands End, residents have noticed fishermen coming within just a few feet of their docks and boats, and sometimes becoming aggressive if someone asks them not to come so close.
On Beer Can Island, residents of nearby communities report litter, dogs on the beach, alcohol consumption and boom boxes.
Police Chief Pete Cumming wrote in an Oct. 8 email to the commission in response to Mayers’ email that he reviewed a series of incidents on Lands End and Beer Can Island from the last two weekends with Marine Patrol Dennis Silverio.
He ordered Silverio to increase patrols around Jewfish Key, Beer Can Island and Lands End. The department is also cross-training two officers for marine enforcement and plans to have two marine patrols deployed at peak times.
For more information, pick up an Oct. 17 copy of the Longboat Observer.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].