Category Archives: Tips

  • 120

Pleasure Boaters Be Warned!

Clearing U.S. Customs Regulations for Pleasure Boaters

Recent changes in Homeland Security Laws have made it necessary for all pleasure boaters entering U.S. waters from foreign ports to contact U.S. Customs and abide by the following guidelines. This will ensure a safe and convenient re-entry.

What Alternative Inspection Programs Do These Ports Accept

Local Boater Option (LBO) Program

Participants in this program may report their arrival to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by calling one of the telephone numbers below. Unless directed by a CBP officer, a participant in this program does not have to report for an in-person inspection.

Visit SVRS to apply online for LBO participation and schedule an appointment for an interview at one of the authorized enrollment centers.

Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS)

In March 2010, U.S. Customs and Border Protection developed the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) for the Florida area of responsibility (AOR). SVRS is a web-based automated online reporting system created for the LBO participants to expeditiously report their intended arrivals from foreign ports. In addition, the web-based system will facilitate the enrollment of new applicants for the LBO program. New applicants will be able to enroll and make an appointment for a face-to-face interview with a CBP officer at an authorized reporting location of their choosing. Once participation in the LBO program is granted by CPB, the participant will receive an email with their Boater Registration (BR) number and password for SVRS. Current LBO participants must apply online for a password to access the float plan functions of SVRS.

The program is designed  to provide LBO participants an easy-to-use web-based tool to record and update their intended international travel on a private vessel by filing a float plan.

Float plans consist of biographical information of all persons intending on traveling, vessel registration information and itinerary information. Once a float plan is entered and activated, SVRS will issue a float plan number. The float plan will be verified by CBP prior to the vessel’s return to the United States. Upon return to the U.S., the LBO participant who filed the float plan will contact the CBP Small Vessel Call Center (SVCC) to make a formal notification of arrival. Persons traveling, who are not LBO members, must report to their nearest CBP office for immigration processing within 24-hours of arrival.

To file a float plan, go to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Small Vessel Reporting System online at

What telephone number do I call upon arrival into Florida?

The Florida Small Vessel Call Center (SVCC) can be reached at 1-800-432-1216 or 1-800-451-0393.

To make a formal notification of arrival on a float plan filed in SVRS, call 1-877-330-7327.

What information do I have to have when I call?

Vessel masters must have the following information available:

  • Name, date of birth and citizenship of all persons on board (including passport number);
  • Name of the boat and/or boat registration (BR) number;
  • CBP user fee decal number (if 30 feet or longer);
  • Homeport and current location; and
  • Return contact number.

Vessel masters who files a float plan in SVRS only have to provide the float plan number.

After formal notification of arrival is made by the master of the vessel, those persons onboard who are not members of the Local Boater Option (LBO) program or have been selected by CBP for an inspection, will have 24-hours to report for a face-to-face inspection at one of the following reporting locations during their hours of operation.



Daytona Beach International Airport (Daytona Beach)
720 Catalina Drive, Suite 100, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
Phone: 386-248-8043

Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale)
1800 Eller Drive, Suite 104, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33316
Phone: 954-761-2000

Fernandina Beach
403 North 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32024
Phone: 904-261-6154

Fort Myers – SW Florida International Airport (Fort Myers)
11000 Terminal Access Road, Ft. Myers, Florida 33913
Phone: 239-561-6205

Fort Pierce – St. Lucie County International Airport (Fort Pierce )
2990 Curtis King Blvd, Ft. Pierce, Florida 34946
Phone: 772-461-1733

10426 Alta Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32226
Phone: 904-714-3100

Key West
Federal Building, 301 Simonton Street, Key West, Florida 33040
Phone: 305-296-5411

Port Manatee (Manatee)
400 Tampa Bay Way, Palmetto, Florida 34221
Phone: 813-634-1369

Port of Miami (Miami)
903 South America Way, Terminal H, Miami, Florida 33132
Phone: 305-536-4758 Ext. 5

One Air Terminal Parkway, Melbourne, Florida 32901
Phone: 321-674-5796

Orlando (Customs House) (Orlando)
9043 Tradeport Drive, Orlando, Florida 32827-5314
Phone: 407-240-4462 Ext. 0

Panama City
140 Richard Jackson Blvd, Suite 160, Panama City, Florida 32407
Phone: 850 636 6785

880 N. Reus Street, Suite 101, Pensacola, Florida 32501
Phone: 850-433-3205

Port Canaveral
200 George King Blvd, Cape Canaveral, Florida 32920
Phone: 321-783-2066 Ext. 2

St. Augustine
394 Estrella Ave, St. Augustine, Florida 32095
Phone: 904-209-0099

St. Petersburg
14700 Terminal Blvd, Suite 120, Clearwater, Florida 33762
Phone: 727-536-7311

4662 Air Cargo Rd, Tampa, Florida 22614
Phone: (813) 348-1714 Ext. 0

West Palm Beach
1 East 11th Street, Suite 220, Riviera Beach, Florida 33404
Phone: 561-844-1703 Ext. 249

For other ports throughout the United States, visit

  • 0

Heat Stroke is No Joke!

Here is what you can do to prepare yourself for a hot day out in the sun.

Heat stroke is one of the worst conditions that can happen to you while you’re out enjoying a fun day on the golf course with your friends. The initial signs of heat stroke are listlessness, anxiety and confusion. Heat stroke is often caused when your body’s internal temperature reaches over 104 degrees and can cause seizures, delirium, coma and even lead to death. This is a serious matter that everyone must pay attention to, whether you’re out on a boat in the hot sun all day, or enjoying some quality time on the golf course. Here are some tips and ways to avoid becoming the next victim of heat stroke.

Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4am and 7am. Stay indoors are much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor and out of the sunshine. Remember, electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.

Wear loose, lightweight, light colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. Wearing extra clothing or clothing that fits tightly won’t allow your body to cool properly.

Drink plenty of water regularly and often. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat’s effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which actually dehydrates the body.

Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid meals that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

Treatments of Heat Stroke

If you or someone you know begins to experience signs of overheating… First, call 9-1-1 for some help and get them to lay down. Provide them with plenty of fluids to drink, preferably water. Then elevate their feet and apply cold compresses to reduce their internal body temperature. If available, use an electric fan to lower their temperature, or find something to fan them with. The following are some more tips for more serious conditions.

Heat Cramps: Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and replenish fluids. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them, as they may make conditions worse.

Heat Exhaustion: Get the person out of the heat and into a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths such as towels or sheets. If the person is conscious, give cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. As with heat cramps, give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes and don’t give them any alcohol or caffeine. Let the victim rest in a comfortable position and watch carefully for changes in his or her condition.

Heat Stroke: This is a life-threatening situation. Help is needed fast! Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Move the person to a cooler place and quickly cool the body. Immerse the victim in a cool bath, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it. Watch for signals of breathing problems. If the victim refuses water, is vomiting, or there are changes in level of consciousness, do not give them anything to eat or drink.

These helpful tips may come in handy one day while you’re out enjoying yourself. If you’re feeling overheated, it may be too late. You’re probably already feeling the effects of heat exhaustion. So remember to keep hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, no matter if you’re feeling thirsty or not. This could save your life someday!

  • 0

Lightning Safety Tips

Be Cautious • Play Defensive • Seek Shelter


  • Hilltops, open or wet areas.
  • Isolated or solitary trees.
  • Metal poles, wire fences and power lines.
  • Golf cars & carts, electrical & maintenance machines.


  • Lower elevations areas.
  • Dense areas of trees or bushes.
  • Protected designed shelter.
  • A crouching position with feet together.
  1. USGA Rule 6-8 allow players to discontinue play if they believe there is a danger from lightning. Golf officials may suspend play when a lightning hazard is detected.
  2. Practice the “Flash-Bang” measurement of lightning location. This is the tie from seeing the stroke to hearing the thunder. For every SLOW count of five, lightning is one mile away. So a count of ten = 2 miles away; a count of 15 = 3 miles away.
  3. Do not raise umbrellas or golf clubs above you during nearby thunderstorms. These and other metal objects increase your risk when lightning is near. If lightning is striking close by, assume a low crouch position with feet together and hands on knees.

Lightning strikes are most common ahead of the storm.
Take cover or seek shelter immediately!