Boaters and marine businesses prepare for hurricane

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Boaters in the Fort Lauderdale area began moving their vessels up river two days ago in preparation for Hurricane Frances, expected to hit land sometime late Friday, said Frank Herhold, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, in an interview today.

While marine facilities continue preparations, convoys of 5-20 boats still are moving inland today with the assistance of police escorts, Herhold added.

Just yesterday, MIASF gave out fenders donated by Taylor Made for Hurricane Charley to Dade County boaters and marinas that had need of them.

“When you live in hurricane country, you learn to develop a hurricane plan and execute it early,” he commented. “That’s one of the prices you pay to live in a 12-month boating community.”

Herhold said MIASF distributed 20,000 Broward Safe Boating Guides this year, which included hurricane tips that have helped raise public awareness of the importance of planning ahead.

The MIASF office, which closed at noon today, will be open as soon as possible after the hurricane in hopes of serving as a central collection point for information on how the boating community weathered the storm, Herhold said.

“We want to help the insurance and repair industries make sure recreational boaters get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” he stated.

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