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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Fernandina Beach, FL

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Fernandina Beach, FL You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Fernandina Beach, FL

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Fernandina Beach, FL

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Fernandina Beach, FL

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Fernandina Beach, FL

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Fernandina Beach, FL

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Fernandina Beach, FL

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

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 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Fernandina Beach, FL

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Fernandina Beach, FL phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Fernandina Beach, FL phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Fernandina Beach, FL phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Fernandina Beach, FL that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Fernandina Beach, FL

Latest News in Fernandina Beach, FL

My Town: Nathalie Wu’s Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island

Nathalie Wu has called Amelia Island home for twenty-two years. She relocated with her family to the barrier island in Northeast Florida from Singapore when her late husband, Thomas Tolxdorf, became the executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in 2001. A graduate of Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, and with a background in hospitality, Wu opened her own restaurant in 20...

Nathalie Wu has called Amelia Island home for twenty-two years. She relocated with her family to the barrier island in Northeast Florida from Singapore when her late husband, Thomas Tolxdorf, became the executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in 2001. A graduate of Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, and with a background in hospitality, Wu opened her own restaurant in 2017 in historic downtown Fernandina Beach after losing her husband in a tragic car accident in 2014.

She derived the menu at Wicked Bao, her fast-casual Asian street food concept, from the expansive Asian flavors of her childhood in Taiwan and time spent in Singapore. “Dishes from night markets and hawker centers are street food,” she says. “They are not pretentious; they are simple, fast, and tasty. Calling Wicked Bao an Asian street food restaurant gives us a lot of room to be creative in our menu.” Charred octopus is one of her standout dishes. “It’s lightly marinated, grilled, seasoned with house-blended Chinese five-spice, and served with a slice of lime,” she says. “But for our first-time customers or less-adventurous diners, I recommend the most popular crispy pork chop rice.”

In recognition of her support for the people and businesses of Amelia Island, Wu was recently named Business Owner of the Year in the Secretary of State’s 2023 Florida Main Street Awards. She is also an active member of the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce. “I work downtown, I live downtown, and I promote downtown,” she says. “I love the small-town feel. The pace is slower, we have less traffic, and you can walk everywhere. We have a charming historic district, with beautiful old homes, bed-and-breakfasts, and many locally owned, independent restaurants and galleries.”

When she’s not personally greeting customers at Wicked Bao, including the French chef Jacques Pépin, Farmer Lee Jones, and bands like Stick Figure and Flipturn (an Indie rock band from Fernandina Beach), Wu spends her days on the island—as you might expect—surrounded by people and food.

“I go to a coffee shop every day,” Wu says. “I love coffee and I love to catch up with people. Mocama Coffee, Hola! Cuban Cafe, Amelia Island Coffee are all my favorites.” If she’s having brunch on the weekend, you’ll find her at Pogo’s Kitchen or Leddy’s Porch at the Florida House Inn. For a quick lunch, Wu enjoys the rice box at Timoti’s and Thursday’s chicken and dumpling special at T-Ray’s Burger Station, “a Fernandina Beach institution.” For a more leisurely meal, “Café Karibo, is very yummy and consistent. I usually order the Big Bella sandwich or loaded lentil salad.”

“I work most nights, so I don’t go out much in the evenings,” Wu says. “Some of us will go after work Wednesday to The Decantery for Champagne Wednesday. I am not a cocktail drinker; I prefer a glass of bubbly or pinot noir.” For dinner, Wu’s choice is “España! Make sure you have a reservation. I love all the tapas and paella. Chef Roberto has been a wonderful friend and mentor.” She adds, “Burlingame is my girls’ night out spot. The oysters, grilled octopus, and shrimp and grits are some of my favorites.”

Wu has a weekly plan of attack for Fernandina Beach’s Saturday farmers’ market: “Bacon Farms is always my first stop,” she says. “Wicked Bao uses Bacon Farms’ baby spinach, arugula, and English cucumber when in season. Carol and John of Me, Myself & Pies always have great smiles and good pies. Jen of African Love Kitchen offers a well-spiced and tasty sambusa. My favorite is the goat sambusa.”

“It’s very exciting in downtown Fernandina Beach right now,” Wu says, ticking off restaurant and hotel openings: “Pablo’s Mexican Cuisine has just moved from North Second Street to Centre Street as the brand-new Mezcal Spirit of Oaxaca. Longtime local favorite Le Clos has been acquired by the Boat House and is under renovation. We heard a raw bar is coming, and Baba’s Mediterranean just opened. Two hotels are coming up on North Second Street, right down the road from Wicked Bao.”

Days off

This year Wu is trying to focus on self-care, including a yoga practice. “Centered on Yoga is the perfect spot, right downtown on Centre Street. It’s another woman-owned business that I love to support,” she says. And nothing calms the spirit like a walk on the beach. “I love shark teeth hunting at North Beach. It’s less crowded than other beaches.”

Other island favorites

Wu often stops into Lindy’s, a jewelry store on Centre Street. “I call Lindy’s my happy place,” she says. “Lindy has owned the store for almost twenty two years. You can see the theme here—another woman business owner who inspires me a lot.” She also frequents Color It Green, “a great gift shop with a mission to support nonprofits and give back.” And she’s a big-time thrifter. “From my many Wicked Bao Instagram and Facebook postings, most people probably know I frequently shop at Cats Angels, Nassau Humane Society Second Chance, and Barnabas New to You. Thrifting is fun and a great way to support our local families and animals.”

There’s one more favorite place to mention. “The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island will always be very special to our family. It brought us here twenty-two years ago, and we discovered paradise.”

Last-minute shoppers flock to small businesses in Fernandina Beach

No compatible source was found for this media.NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Last-minute shoppers were out and about on Friday around Northeast Florida.The National Retail Federation expects shoppers to spend an average of nearly $900 this year on gifts with 24% choosing to shop with local stores.In a time when people could choose to shop online or with big box stores, many shoppers are coming to places like Centre Street in Fernandina Beach to make their last-minute Christmas purchases.Sierra Mills ...

No compatible source was found for this media.

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Last-minute shoppers were out and about on Friday around Northeast Florida.

The National Retail Federation expects shoppers to spend an average of nearly $900 this year on gifts with 24% choosing to shop with local stores.

In a time when people could choose to shop online or with big box stores, many shoppers are coming to places like Centre Street in Fernandina Beach to make their last-minute Christmas purchases.

Sierra Mills is one of the many shoppers who ventured to Centre Street on Friday for some last-minute Christmas shopping.

“They have great gifts for my mom, my grandma, my sister, for my friends, there’s just everything. And it’s shopping small, so you’re supporting small business,” Mills said.

Ellen Schuette is visiting from Boston and was window shopping Friday, but she had a plan in mind to come back on Saturday.

“Oh God yes, but I really have to take a look and see all the kinds of things, and there’s so many streets, it’s so beautiful, and I just love the town,” Schuette said.

Mills is from Fernandina, so it’s important for her to support small businesses in town but also she likes the unique gifts she’s able to find.

“At Twisted Sisters, which is down there, they have great gifts for your mom. They have jewelry, they have ornaments, they have kitchen stuff,” she said. “The bookstore is amazing, they have any books you can think of, and also there’s a writer that lives in Fernandina so he comes in there sometimes and signs books and stuff and yeah a little bit of everything.”

For Schuette, she prefers small businesses to big box stores. She plans on coming back to shop at Olive Amelia and a sweatshirt store.

“I like the personal touch, I like going in and seeing what people have done. It’s very creative, don’t you think? It’s very creative and individual and I’d much rather be in a place like this and say thank you to the people who make this happen,” Schuette said.

And with so many options, it’s easy to find special gifts for the people you love.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX - All rights reserved.

‘He actually saved my life’: Fernandina Beach teen saved from rip current uses social media to track down rescuer

No compatible source was found for this media.FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Social media connects an 18-year-old who was rescued from a rip current to the man who saved her life.Amari Holcey was visiting the beach on Wednesday evening with her friends.It was around 7 p.m. and the waters were a little rough but that didn’t stop the group from testing the waves.“I love to get in the water but after going through what I went through I don’t want to get back in,” Holcey said....

No compatible source was found for this media.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Social media connects an 18-year-old who was rescued from a rip current to the man who saved her life.

Amari Holcey was visiting the beach on Wednesday evening with her friends.

It was around 7 p.m. and the waters were a little rough but that didn’t stop the group from testing the waves.

“I love to get in the water but after going through what I went through I don’t want to get back in,” Holcey said.

Holcey soon realized she was caught in a rip current and couldn’t get out. It was her first time experiencing one and she didn’t have a clue what to do.

“Once I realized I couldn’t touch the ground and I was not moving back towards the shore, I panicked. I started yelling for help. My friends got worried for me. They did try to help me a little bit, but when you’re panicking, you’re drowning, pushing other people down,” Holcey said.

That’s when a man on a surfboard came to her rescue.

“The surfboard was so vibrant. It was all I could see. And when he got to me he told me everything was going to be okay and to get on his surfboard, and it was a strong fight,” Holcey said. “He actually saved my life.”

The man, who is named Forrest, brought her back to shore safely, and first responders took her to the hospital.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to thank Forrest, so she made multiple Facebook post, asking people to help her find the man. They received hundreds of comments and multiple shares, leading her to connect with Forrest.

She wrote him the following message:

“Hello, I just want to thank you so much for the bravery you showed Wednesday evening I was very scared and had no idea what to do. I just wanted to give you a good thanks for saving my life. God bless you.”

Although the 18-year-old is still shaken up about the near drowning, she is thankful for Forrest and glad she had an opportunity to express her gratitude to him.

Her aunt Willalee Smith said she is also grateful to Forrest.

“Thank you so much, you’re an angel,” Smith said. “It would’ve been such a horrific thing for my niece to not be here. I’m so very thankful for you.”

Holcey urges everyone celebrating the Fourth of July holiday to exercise caution while in the waters. It’s always recommended to swim by lifeguards and pay attention to the advisory flags.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX - All rights reserved.

Thousands gather at the Right Whale Festival in Fernandina Beach for more than just fun

The festival was a delightful mix of fun and purpose, as attendees engaged in activities, all dedicated to the noble cause of conserving the endangered right whale.FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — The Right Whale Festival in Fernandina Beach this weekend drew an impressive crowd of 20,000 people, making it a truly enjoyable and meaningful event. The festival was a delightful blend of fun and purpose, as attendees engaged in various activities, all dedicated to the noble cause of conserving the endangered right whale.Dr. James Pow...

The festival was a delightful mix of fun and purpose, as attendees engaged in activities, all dedicated to the noble cause of conserving the endangered right whale.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — The Right Whale Festival in Fernandina Beach this weekend drew an impressive crowd of 20,000 people, making it a truly enjoyable and meaningful event. The festival was a delightful blend of fun and purpose, as attendees engaged in various activities, all dedicated to the noble cause of conserving the endangered right whale.

Dr. James Powell, Chief Zoological Officer for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, highlighted the importance of the festival.

“So, a couple of decades ago, people didn’t even know we had these huge whales right off of our coast, coming down to Florida and off the coast of Georgia, to have their babies," Powell said. "It’s the only place in the world where we know this North Atlantic Right Whale has their calves."

The significance of raising awareness about these creatures cannot be overstated, especially given the dark history of relentless whaling that pushed them near the brink of extinction.

“And through conservation efforts that started after they stopped whaling, the population slowly began to increase up to around 500. And then what we have seen in the past decade, it has started to decline again," Powell said.

Elizabeth Williamson from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), sheds light on the current challenges faced by these whales.

"What we're observing is an unusual increase in unnatural deaths," said Williamson. "They are falling victim to tangled ropes and nets, and we don't even know their natural lifespan due to these tragic entanglements."

Powell elaborated on the dire situation, explaining how these whales get caught by vertical lines in the water, which wrap around their bodies, including their flippers. Additionally, ship strikes have claimed the lives of several of these majestic creatures, adding to the urgent need for conservation efforts.

The overarching goal of the Right Whale Festival is to spread the message of conservation, not just to local residents, but also to a wider audience on the First Coast and beyond.

“But really, it is up to the public to be supportive of this and do what they can for example, if they are in areas where there are whales, to report sightings of them and also to make sure to slow down," Powell emphasized. "And surfers or others, to stay away from them so, these individuals are not disturbed.”

Visitors from various locations expressed their appreciation for the festival, as one attendee told First Coast News, "We drove four hours to be here, and it's an amazing event that carries immense significance for the right whales." Another attendee, a local resident, chimed in saying, "Being from our hometown, it's heartwarming to see familiar faces and unite with the community in such a meaningful way."

Cheryl Munday, the coordinator of the Right Whale Festival, outlined the festival's diverse attractions, stating, "We offer an array of experiences, featuring over 100 exhibitors, life-size inflatable whales that allow you to appreciate their incredible size up close, children's activities, and even athletic events like beachfront yoga and a morning bike ride. There's something for everyone."

In the end, the Right Whale Festival is a vibrant celebration with a serious mission. It not only entertains and educates, but also serves as a call to action, reminding everyone that the fate of these extraordinary creatures is in our hands.

‘It’s good to be home’: All members of Fernandina Beach church group arrive safely in States from Middle East

No compatible source was found for this media.JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The final members of a group touring Israel with First Baptist Church Fernandina Beach arrived home safely Sunday night after being stuck in the Middle East amid the ongoing turmoil of the war between Israel and Hamas.About 25 members of the group made it back to Jacksonville International Airport on two planes Sunday night -- one coming from Charlotte and the other from New York.Executive Pastor Dan Beck, who has been “holdin...

No compatible source was found for this media.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The final members of a group touring Israel with First Baptist Church Fernandina Beach arrived home safely Sunday night after being stuck in the Middle East amid the ongoing turmoil of the war between Israel and Hamas.

About 25 members of the group made it back to Jacksonville International Airport on two planes Sunday night -- one coming from Charlotte and the other from New York.

Executive Pastor Dan Beck, who has been “holding down the fort” at the church in Fernandina Beach, said some of the group members returned home Friday and 18 more arrived home early Sunday morning before the final group, including Senior Pastor Zach Terry, arrived Sunday night.

“This salty piece of First Coast land is amazing, and we value it so much from everything that we’ve been through this week, just wondering how it would turn out sometimes,” Terry said after arriving safely back in Jacksonville. “We’ve been through a lot.”

Terry said all 54 members of the travel group should now be safely in the United States, though some flew into other cities and are still making their way back home.

MORE | ‘Pray for us’: Fernandina Beach church group trapped in Israel amid armed conflicts

Terry’s church has taken the trip to the Middle East many times, but this time was obviously different when Hamas attacked Israel and Israel responded with a declaration of war.

“What happened moved so fast there at the Gaza border and then when we were in Jerusalem we would hear the gunfire,” Terry said.

At one point, the group was close to the border with Lebanon but then they moved toward Jerusalem when Hezbollah began to encroach into Israel. Terry told The Morning Show last week that they could see the Iron Dome, an Israeli mobile all-weather air defense system, working.

He described driving into Jerusalem and having to pull over when air raid sirens sounded.

“We could hear the concussive blasts from our hotel,” Terry said.

Midway through the week, the group crossed into Jordan because they were unable to fly out of Israel after several major airlines halted flights in and out of the country amid the fighting.

READ: Airlines halt flights in and out of Israel after a massive attack by Hamas ignites heavy fighting

Terry said they weren’t the only ones with that idea as thousands of people attempted to get through the Jordanian border.

“That was cool to see all the cultures work together,” he said. “We couldn’t speak each other’s language, but we’re trying to be kind to each other and help each other get to safety.”

Terry said their tour company, Signature Tours, found them accommodations in Jordan, provided them with guides and paid for all the flights home.

“It didn’t cost us a dime. They’ve been kind enough to work with us and make sure our people got to safety,” Terry said.

RELATED | ‘We can’t wait to see you guys’: Fernandina Beach church group begins heading home after making it out of Israel

Terry said the group began to trickle home as they were able to get seats on flights after making it to Jordan, and then the rest came home in two waves on Saturday and Sunday.

Terry said hearing from everyone while they were in the Middle East meant a lot.

“We got hundreds, thousands of text messages, Twitter, Facebook, you name it. It’s just been overwhelming, the response, especially here on the First Coast,” Terry said.

Among those helping the group navigate their safe return was Rep. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, who attends First Baptist Church Fernandina Beach.

“This is my pastor from the First Baptist Church. So we’ve got tons of friends, and we’ve actually got staff members who have family members on that trip, so bringing them home safe is our No. 1 responsibility,” Bean told News4JAX last Monday.

Terry said the offices of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp were also in touch with them and were very helpful. He said some of those traveling with them were from Georgia.

The State Department also has a 24/7 coordinating group communicating with U.S. citizens in Israel and providing them assistance through phone calls and an online form.

U.S. citizens seeking assistance to get out of Israel can fill out this form cacms.state.gov/s/crisis-intake or call 1-833-890-9595 or 1-606-641-0131.

“It’s been good to see the community and the church just jump in with their support and prayer for the team during this time,” Pastor Beck said.

Pastor Terry said he’s looking forward to some Southern food -- and a special celebration.

“My daughter turned 22 while we were gone. We were supposed to be back in time to celebrate, but we missed that,” Terry said. “A big low country boil would be nice. I’ve had a lot of saffron in the last few days.”

Terry said he believes the coverage of the group’s story and all the prayers back home made the difference in opening doors for them to get back home quickly.

“God used it all, and we’re very thankful,” he said. “It’s good to be home.”

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