Public landing open for private business

info@islandpacket.comJune 21, 2013 

The Cross Island Parkway boat landing has little to do with what it was intended for when it was built several years ago -- a peaceful facility that residents could use to launch their watercraft and go crabbing and fishing.

Today, its main purpose is for private watersport businesses to profit. Whether it is flying the friendly skies with a parasail, looking to get up close and personal with Flipper on a nature boat or kayak, or catching Jaws aboard one of many charter fishing operations, private business at the public landing is booming.

With only four available boat slips at the landing's dock and hundreds of customers a day, the boat and pedestrian traffic to and from the dock is nonstop. Throw in the fact that Palmetto Bay Marina is located about 100 feet away, with its own flotilla of rental boats, kayaks and Jet Skis operated by novices that pass within several feet of the landing, and it's remarkable no injuries or worse have occurred.

If this is the landing's purpose, and county and town officials condone it, I assure you more private enterprises will be setting up shop there. If so, I would like to make a few suggestions: Add more portable toilets and build a shaded concession stand for the comfort of business operators and their customers. Install an ATM machine and retain a good personal injury lawyer. Last but not least, you're going to need a bigger dock.

Capt. David Fleming

Hilton Head Island

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