There were no Jolly Rogers or parrots in the Capitol Tuesday, but two lawmakers are seeking to put what they call a predatory boating-assistance practice in Davy Jones’ locker.
Sen. Dana Young and Rep. Shawn Harrison, both Tampa Republicans, held a press conference on legislation they’re sponsoring (SB 664, HB 469) to combat “modern-day piracy,” they said.
Their measures would “require maritime salvage and towing companies to provide boaters with the option of a written cost estimate before rendering assistance on the water,” according to a statement.
The idea is to “put a stop to the predatory practice of those salvage operators who provide relatively minor assistance to boaters and then charge outrageous fees by labeling the service a ‘salvage claim,’ ” it said.
One example given was a $30,000 bill to replace a hose on a bilge pump.
If passed into law, however, it would be in effect only within the state’s territorial waters: Three nautical miles on the Atlantic Coast and nine nautical miles along the Gulf Coast.
The bills would “require operators to provide a written estimate if the cost of service could be more than $500. The final bill may not exceed 20 percent of that written estimate, and a boater may waive the written estimate if they choose.”
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