Orange County boat ramps open ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Officials closed all boat ramps in March

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Orange County's boat ramps are now open to the public but not without social distancing restrictions.

Officials closed all boat ramps in March because of the pandemic and say the number of people on the boat ramps will be limited.

"We are a group of under ten. Our boats will be spaced out so it's just great to be out of the house. Working from home every single day for the last two months has been a lot," Crystal Rivera explained.

Rivera and her family headed to Keene Park Boat Ramp on Friday. She said they are well aware of the rules.

Orange County posted signs for boaters enforcing rules which include no congregating on the lake, stay six feet apart, and no beaching watercraft.

"It feels good. I think it's been you know it feels like it's been a long time that it's been closed so it feels nice to access the water again," Richard Ford said.

[TIMELINE: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]

Ford and his father went to Lake down Boat Ramp on Friday morning to switch their boat trailers on the water. Ford said they plan on fishing sometime next week.

Deputies were out patrolling at RD Keene Park Boat Ramp on Friday and explained they will be patrolling all weekend long to make sure people stay safe on the water.

“We have a marine unit that will be out on the waterways this weekend, and they patrol to make sure people are staying safe as it pertains to boating. If they see large groups of people, the expectation is that they would talk to those who are not practicing proper social distancing and urge them to follow CDC guidelines,” Orange County deputies told News 6.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.

About the Author: