Water-Related News

Madeira Beach mayor warns John’s Pass is filling in with sand

MADEIRA BEACH — Madeira Beach Mayor John Hendricks warns that John's Pass is filling in with sand from beach renourishment projects and it has created a dangerous situation at the number one tourist destination in Pinellas County.

"The pass is getting narrower. So, the currents are getting stronger," said Mayor Hendricks. "We've got so much boat traffic... it's just a dangerous situation all the way around."

The sizable beach has blocked the north end of the pass in front of the village. Mayor Hendricks said some boat slips have been lost to the sand and it's also blocking storm drains.

"This whole beach area used to be water," he said. "When you went up to the boardwalk, you were looking down at water."

Hendricks said visitors have been using the newly created beach for fishing and swimming in the treacherous water. Last year, Captain Dylan Hubbard had to rescue an 8-year-old boy who was being swept into the Gulf of Mexico. "Luckily, one of our charter boats happened to be sitting there ready to rock and roll and we were able to cruise just past the bridge and pluck the young gentleman out of the water," he said. "No one should be swimming inside of John's Pass from this beach but a lot of people do."

Mayor Hendricks said the sand is coming from beach renourishment projects in other Pinellas coastal towns.