FLORIDA -- Right now, an executive order from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation is in place to ensure social distancing on the water. And with the weekend in full swing, many people are hopping on boats. 

  • FWC issues executive order
  • Boaters must stay 50 ft apart
  • No more than 10 people on board

A lot of boaters say they feel being out on the open water is the best way to practice social distancing, but now they have some rules as well. 

On Friday, Gov. DeSantis ordered that all boaters must stay at least 50 feet apart. In addition, no recreational boat is allowed to have more than 10 people on board. 

This is all meant to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

The Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said they have patrols out making sure boaters are following the rules, especially those who go out to sand bars and islands. 

"We're paying attention to the spoil islands, especially that area down around John Pass. Three Rooker bar in the north part of the county. And all those islands in the intercoastal waterway," Sheriff Gualtieri said. 

Gualtieri also said that many boaters might not be aware of this new order and so they are trying to educate the public. 

The executive order from FWC says boaters who do not follow these rules are considered a "hazard to public safety."