ENTERING THE LAGOON AND LOCK OPERATION
The provisions of the UNIFIED INLAND NAVIGATION RULES (USCGM16672.2) will govern users of Queen’s Harbour Lagoon, lock, docks, and approaches, unless specifically modified by the Harbormaster. Vessels preparing to enter the Queen’s Harbour approach channel or enter the lock from the Lagoon must first make contact with the lock operator by means of VHF radio. All vessels transiting the lock must have operational VHF in order to clear access with the lock operator.
The Queen’s Harbour Yacht and Country Club Owners Association (POA) performs periodic entry channel maintenance dredging as permitted by the Submerged Land Easement granted by the State of Florida. However, the POA does not guarantee a specific depth for the entry channel and this depth will deteriorate over time. The allowable vessel draft is dictated by the level of the low tide in relation to the fixed concrete bottom of the lock entrance. As a point of reference, a minus 2 reading on the marked piling which is part of the floating dock at the lock entrance indicates that a maximum draft of five feet can be carried into the lock. Therefore, when entering or exiting the lock, boat owners are solely responsible for recognizing the tide conditions compared to the draft requirements of their vessels, and must plan their entry and exit accordingly.
B. VHF RADIO CHANNELS
Queen’s Harbour will monitor VHF channel 78A. Vessels must contact Queen’s Harbour on this channel, then follow directions on this working frequency for the locking sequence. Queen’s Harbour personnel will utilize proper VHF radiotelephone procedure. Vessels communicating with Queen’s Harbour are encouraged to reciprocate. Vessels outbound are required to call the lock when underway after leaving their slip or dock.
Vessels inbound are required to call the lock when arriving at the channel entrance. The lockmaster will attempt to maximize the lock space on a first arrival basis, however consideration will be given to the size of the vessels waiting, when determining the order of vessels entering the lock.
C. LOCK REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES
1. Vessels using the lock will experience the following sequence of events: a. The lock will be activated following a request by radio. b. The water will be equalized and the nearest gate opened. c. The vessel enters the lock and the gate will close behind it. d. The water again will be equalized up or down with the mooring lines secured to the cleats. e. The gate ahead is opened and the vessel moves out of the lock. f. The gate is closed and the lock deactivated. 2. The lock is designed to be operated by qualified Queen’s Harbour personnel and/or others that have been qualified by the Harbormaster.
2. Anyone other than the authorized personnel found operating the lock is subject to immediate suspension of any privileges and other such penalties as the Harbormaster deems in his absolute discretion to be necessary to protect the Lagoon System, its owners, tenants and guests, and liable for all damages or expenses resulting from such unauthorized use.
3. Vessels intending to enter the lock or approach channel must contact Queen’s Harbour on channel 78A. and then request permission to lock in or out.
A typical radio conversation would be initiated on channel 78A as follows: “Queen’s Harbour, this is the motor yacht Karol K.” “Karol K, this is Queen’s Harbour.” “Queen’s Harbour, this is the Karol K, requesting permission to lock in.” “Karol K, this is Queen’s Harbour, there is no outward bound traffic; you are cleared to enter the lock.”
4. Vessels requesting lock-in or lock-out will contact the lock operator via VHF radio, not more than 15 minutes before being in position to enter the lock. The sequence of vessels entering the Lock, on lock-in or lock-out, will be determined solely by the lock operator. Vessels requesting lock-in will not enter the channel, until so directed by the lock operator. Violators are subject to fines and/or suspension of lock privileges.
D. SAFE SPEED AND OPERATION
1. All vessels transiting the Lagoon System lock and entrance channel will maintain “an idle or no wake speed.”
2. No vessel will be operated in the Lagoon System in a manner that may result in injury to persons, vessels, or property damage. Such activity will be considered reckless boating. A vessel owner or operator engaged in reckless boating activity will be responsible for all damages that may occur as a result of such activity. Moreover, consistent with the severity of the activity, the POA with the advice of the Harbour Committee Chair and Harbormaster may suspend the Lagoon and lock use privileges for the owner and/or operator involved in such activity.
E. OBSTRUCTING THE LOCK AND APPROACHES
1. Operators will not allow their craft to obstruct the lock or the approaches to the lock at any time. Vessels leaving the lock and proceeding down the channel will have right of way over any other vessel.
2. If an inbound vessel sights another vessel outward bound from the lock, the inbound vessel must yield to the outward-bound vessel