Lido beach project could help New Pass boaters
Patrick and Amy Heckethorn are avid boaters.
They own a 37-foot Grady White and a 62-foot Viking sport fisherman. One of the reasons they moved to Longboat Key was its boating benefits.
“We have been boaters our whole lives,” said Patrick, a native of Dyersburg, Tenn., which sits along the Mississippi River.
And like many boat owners in town, they have become frustrated about the conditions around New Pass, which connects the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay at Longboat Key's southern tip. Shoaling conditions made the channel hard to navigate and prompted the U.S. Coast Guard in May 2017 to remove the navigation markers, a signal to boaters that the channel wasn't up to safety standards.
Two channel lights were be converted into “Danger Shoal” markers with quick, white flashing lights, to be visible for three nautical miles.