NORTH NAPLES, Fla. - Hazardous boating conditions are being reported in North Naples. Dozens of boats have run aground at Wiggins Pass because the water is so shallow.
There's only about 18 inches of water at Wiggins Pass during low tide. Most larger boats need three feet of water to get through the channel. The shallow water at Wiggins Pass and Doctors Pass is becoming a headache for boaters.
"I've been on the sandbar a couple of times," says boater John Minter.
Minter has even had to call Sea Tow.
"I got pulled off once and it cost me a chunk of change," says Minter.
He's not alone. Sea Tow Naples says they're responding to two calls a day at the passes.
"At night people don't see the channel markers and run right into the sand bar," says Capt. Dan Mercier, Director of Operations for Sea Tow Naples.
Coastal Zone Management specialists say its very common for Wiggins Pass to shoal
"It's a very dynamic pass and so it has happened before," says Pamela Keyes, Environmental Specialist with Coastal Zone Management.
The county dredged Wiggins Pass less than two years ago.
"Nice if they would dredge it again," says Capt. Mercier.
But, the county can't dredge until November, when sea turtle nesting season is over. Until then, the county will put up warning signs and recommends that boaters watch the tides and plan accordingly. John Minter is doing that and has some back up protection, he joined the sea tow club.
Coastal Zone Management will start moving the markers to better mark where the channel is next week.