Donald Trump’s Palm Beach visit prompts Coast Guard to set security zones

President-elect Donald Trump’s planned Thanksgiving visit to Palm Beach has prompted the Coast Guard to set security zones around his Mar-a-Lago Club.

The agency sent a news release late Monday saying the zones will be in effect in the Intracoastal and Atlantic waters near Trump’s estate beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday and ending Saturday afternoon.

President-elect Donald Trump will fly to Palm Beach late Tuesday night to spend Thanksgiving at his Mar-a-Lago estate. (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post)
President-elect Donald Trump will fly to Palm Beach late Tuesday night to spend Thanksgiving at his Mar-a-Lago estate. (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post)

» RELATED: Donald Trump’s Palm Beach agenda this week: ‘Hopefully eating some turkey’

To enter, stop or anchor in the security zones during the designated times, boaters must have permission from the captain of Port Miami.

“The security zone is necessary to protect the VIP and accompanying official party, the public, and the surrounding waterway from terrorist acts, sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents, or other causes of a similar nature,” the Coast Guard said in its news release.

» RELATED: FAA restricts airspace over Mar-a-Lago this week; Trump likely cause

This is the latest security measure taken as Trump makes his first trip to Palm Beach since winning the presidential election earlier this month. The Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday issued a temporary flight restriction for the airspace over Mar-a-Lago — including Palm Beach International Airport — from late Tuesday night through early Friday morning.

Trump has spent Thanksgiving on the island for about 20 years. His plans include “hopefully eating some turkey,” a spokesperson said Monday in a conference call with reporters.

Any vessels that would like to travel through the security zones must contact the Coast Guard via marine-band radio via VHF-FM channel 16. Violators of the zones could face a civil penalty of more than $88,000; a criminal penalty up to $10,000; or up to 12 years in prison.

Here are the zone restrictions issued by the Coast Guard for Trump’s visit. All three zones are in effect for the duration of Trump’s time in Palm Beach:

Coast Guard security zones set from Tuesday afternoon through Friday afternoon for President-elect Donald Trump's visit. (Coast Guard)
Coast Guard security zones set from Tuesday afternoon through Saturday afternoon for President-elect Donald Trump’s visit. (Coast Guard)

Zone 1: No vessels or person will be permitted to enter this zone consisting of the waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon from the southern tip of the Everglades Island in the north to approximately 1,000 yards from the south of the Southern Boulevard Bridge on the south and eastern shore line west of Fisherman Island.

Zone 2: All vessels transiting the second zone shall maintain a steady speed and shall not slow or stop from waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon including the Intracoastal Waterway from the southern tip of the Everglades Island in the north to approximately 1000 yards from the south of the bridge on the south and from the western shore line to the western edge of the Fisherman Island in the east.

Zone 3: All vessels transiting the third zone shall maintain a steady speed and shall not slow or stop from waters of the Atlantic Ocean from Banyan Road in the north to Ocean View Road in the south and from shore to approximately 1000 yards east of the shoreline.

Bill inspired by missing Tequesta teens wins final approval from state lawmakers

A memorial last summer to missing Tequesta teens
A memorial last summer to missing Tequesta teens

The memory of two Tequesta teenagers missing since they sailed out of Jupiter Inlet last summer will live on in legislation approved Wednesday by the Florida Senate and sent to Gov. Rick Scott.

The measure (CS/HB 427) is aimed at encouraging boaters to buy an emergency position indicator radio beacon (EPIRB) or personal locator beacon for their watercraft. Supporters portray the legislation as a legacy for the 14-year-old friends, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, missing since last July.

Rep. MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta, and Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who represent the youngsters’ home town, sponsored the legislation. It cleared the Senate on a 39-0 vote and now goes to Scott, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

Magar earlier told the House the measure will “save lives, heartbreak and anguish.”

 

Father of missing Tequesta teen to promote new boating legislation

Perry Cohen (left) and Austin Stephanos, disappeared after sailing out of Jupiter Inlet
Perry Cohen (left) and Austin Stephanos, disappeared after sailing out of Jupiter Inlet

The father of missing Tequesta teen boater Austin Stephanos is slated to come Wednesday to the state Capitol to promote a measure aimed at enhancing boating safety.

Blu Stephanos is scheduled to be joined by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, to discuss a legislative proposal that would reduce annual registration fees for boaters who purchase emergency locator devices for themselves or their vessels.

Blu Stephanos has started a foundation called AustinBlu to increase boater safety through education and technology, including requiring emergency beacons on boats.

Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, sailed out of Jupiter Inlet on July 24. Their capsized boat was found days later near Daytona Beach.

“While government cannot prevent these horrific incidents, we can and should do more to encourage boaters to have solid safety precautions in place as they enjoy time on Florida’s coast and waterways,” Negron said.

The tragedy involving the Tequesta teenagers also helped inspire separate legislation (SB 644) that would raise the age limit for operating personal watercraft — possibly as a first step toward creating a minimum boating age.

Florida law sets no age requirement for boaters. State law mandates only that anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988 piloting a vessel of more than 10 horsepower complete an approved safety boating course.

A person must be at least 14 to operate a personal watercraft, such as a Jet Ski, in Florida. But the bill by Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, would raise that limit to age 16, although his staff said he wants the measure to spark discussion of setting the same age standard for all boaters.

Just last week, another member of the Stephanos family came out in opposition to the bill.

In a post on Facebook on Oct. 29, Margaux Stephanos, Austin’s aunt, wrote, “We the family, of Austin Stephanos 100% DO NOT AGREE or stand behind this bill being passed.” Read her post here.