From the Captain’s Chair: Summer Season is in Full Swing June 27, 2018
MIASF decided to refocus the mission and purpose of Marine Industry Day (MID) and postpone the event to a more advantageous date. MID was originated to help increase awareness and recognition of the marine industry in the community, emphasize the size and scope of our industry, and reinforce the positive impact the industry makes on South Florida’s economy. Fortunately, we have succeeded in achieving that objective through the increasing success of an additional endeavor – the South Florida Business Journal (SFBJ) Marine Section and Book of Lists.
Now in its fourth year, the SFBJ Marine Section is widely circulated throughout the region and showcases the strength and breadth of the industry throughout the year. MIASF will continue to grow and expand the content of this important publication and its influence both within the industry and with our community partners, government agencies, and elected officials. I encourage all MIASF member companies to participate in this year’s effort.
National Safe Boating Week was May 19th through 25th and with Florida at the top of the list for boat registrations it’s not a complete surprise that the National Safe Boating Council reported that Florida ranks first in reported boating accidents and deaths. In 2016, 684 accidents and 70 deaths were reported, up by 12% from the previous year. As recreational marine professionals, we can all do our part this summer to routinely help increase awareness by displaying safe boating practices in public areas and encouraging boating safety instruction for all new operators.
Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Annual Dinner Meeting and Awards Ceremony, which was a huge success and featured keynote speaker, Bill Yeargin, CEO of Correct Craft, as well as award winners, an Olympic hopeful, a rock and roll band, and a great crowd. Additionally, the MIASF Annual Report was distributed to attendees and is now available in the office.
Congratulations to newly-elected Board members, Garnett Byrd of Marquipt, Inc., Andrew Doole of Informa, and Aaron Leatherwood of RMK Merrill-Stevens, and re-elected Board members, Dean DuToit of National Marine Suppliers and Walter Duke of Walter Duke + Partners. Special thanks to outgoing board members Larry Acheson of TowBoatU.S. Fort Lauderdale, Gail Ellis of Land N Sea, and Bert Fowles of IGY Marinas.
The Brightline/FEC railroad bridge app is nearing completion. The app is designed to give accurate and timely information on the closing and opening of the bridge for captains to plan trips on the New River. After an initial review, we’ve asked for a tweak to the program to include freight train closures as well.
The Google Waterway View app is also expected to launch soon, and we are excited to offer this first-of-its-kind tool for boaters in the South Florida area. The app will feature all MIASF members, many of whom have opted for a premier or promoted listing and will have a feature that will allow boaters to search for marinas, fuel, boatyards, restaurants, hotels, and more. The imagery of the Intracoastal Waterway and connecting rivers and canals that has been captured using Google Street View technology is amazing. Check it out here.
I hope everyone takes the opportunity to enjoy the summer months!