(1) It is unlawful to operate a vessel in a reckless manner. A person who operates any vessel, or manipulates any water skis, aquaplane, or similar
device, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property at a
speed or in a manner as to endanger, or likely to endanger, life or limb, or damage
the property of, or injure a person is guilty of reckless operation of a vessel. Reckless operation of a vessel includes, but is not limited to, a violation of s. 327.331(6). A person who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree,
punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) A person who operates any vessel upon the waters of this state shall operate the
vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner, having regard for other waterborne traffic,
posted speed and wake restrictions, and all other attendant circumstances so as not
to endanger the life, limb, or property of another person outside the vessel or to
endanger the life, limb, or property of another person due to vessel overloading or
excessive speed. The failure to operate a vessel in a manner described in this subsection constitutes
careless operation. However, vessel wake and shoreline wash resulting from the reasonable and prudent
operation of a vessel, absent negligence, does not constitute damage or endangerment
to property. A person who violates this subsection commits a noncriminal violation as defined
in s. 775.08.
(3) Each person operating a vessel upon the waters of this state shall comply with
the navigation rules.
(a) A person who violates the navigation rules and the violation results in a boating
accident causing serious bodily injury as defined in s. 327.353 or death, but the violation does not constitute reckless operation of a vessel, commits
a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) A person who violates the navigation rules and the violation does not constitute
reckless operation of a vessel commits a noncriminal violation as defined in s. 775.08, punishable as provided in s. 327.73.
(c) Law enforcement vessels may deviate from the navigational rules when such diversion
is necessary to the performance of their duties and when such deviation may be safely
(4) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the ascertainment of fault in vessel
operations and boating accidents shall be determined according to the navigation rules.
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