Fort Lauderdale beach diving regulations (post new parking meters)

  • I went to sunrise beach and talked to a lifeguard about spearfishing regulations. The regulations have always been vague for that beach and even more so after the installation of the new parking meters all the way to the end of the beach (which was commonly the entry point). The parking meters brought with them more lifeguard towers or was it the other way around? The lifeguard was very forthcoming and I got some good info which I will relate here.

    First I'll give the official regulations.

    1. Point of entry for persons swimming out and carrying a speargun has to be north of lifeguard tower 15. This tower is 100 yards south of the brown building which I always thought to be marking the boundary.

    2. Point of entry for persons paddling out with a small water craft such as a kayak, paddleboard, surfboard etc. extends further south of tower 15. I don't know how far south as he named a street that I didn't know. This means that if you put your speargun out of sight inside the kayak you can enter practically anywhere.

    3. Speargun must be unloaded until in the water and away from the beach.

    4. If swimming from the beach (no water craft) with the intention to go past the bouy line (100 yards) you must:
    .....A. Have a float and flag.
    .....B. Be wearing an inflatable life vest.
    .....C. Be with a buddy. This means no solo diving.

    5. If entering with a water craft A. B. and C. are not required but then coast guard regulations apply such as having a life preserver on the craft and a dive flag. A boogie board is not considered a water craft so if you're seen paddling it out you can be stopped.

    Unofficial regulations depending on the lifeguard and your manner of presenting yourself.

    1. You can have the inflatable life vest not inflated and strapped to a float.

    2. Lifeguards go on duty at 9:45am. If you go in the water before this time the rules cannot be enforced.

    3. Returning to the beach, even if the lifeguards are on duty, can be done at any point. The regulations are to control water entry not landing. You can't be denied landing. This is with the understanding that if you are arriving at the beach at a certain point it is becasue you couldn't make it to another.

    Note to new divers - Be weary of boat traffic anywhere past the buoy line especially on weekends. I will not shore dive on weekends. I was told by the lifeguard that yesterday a diver was run over by a boat. The diver received cuts to his hand from the boat propeller.

  • Any changes to this as of March 2022?

  • I heard there i no fish in Fort Lauderdale nowadays. Anybody tried FLL beaches and was lucky?

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