Hurricanes scuttle Florida boat parades

PALM BEACH, Fla. – Two popular Florida holiday boat parades have been cancelled due to the lingering effects of the hurricanes that struck the state earlier this year, the Palm Beach Post reported in a story today on

The Stuart and St. Lucie County Christmas boat parades have been cancelled because of hurricane debris and damage, the newspaper reported.

Vera Locke, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast, told the Post that her group decided sunken boats, submerged debris and missing channel markers in the parade pathways would prove too dangerous to navigate during the nighttime parades.

"We canceled it in the interest of public safety for the parade participants," Locke said. "We hated to do it, we really did."

Locke said that even if the association had sent a boat with a depth sounder to check the route, tides could move debris close to the parade and endanger boaters and spectators.

This year’s cancellations are the first ever for the parades. The Stuart parade would have celebrated its 25th year this December, and the St. Lucie parade would have been the 15th in its history, the newspaper reported.

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