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Police, Lifeguards Want to End Mission Bay “Floatopias”

Audio

Aired 6/25/10

Floating parties, called "Floatopias" started cropping up in Mission Bay after San Diego voters passed a ballot initiative banning drinking on city beaches in 2008. Now, the city’s lifeguards and police are looking to end the on-water revelry.

Floating parties, called "Floatopias" started cropping up in Mission Bay after San Diego voters passed a ballot initiative banning drinking on city beaches in 2008. Now, the city’s lifeguards and police are looking to end the on-water revelry.

People celebrate Floatopia in Mission Bay in San Diego on March 20, 2010. Floatopia takes advantage of a loophole which does not prohibit drinking while in the water, despite a prohibition on the beach.
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Above: People celebrate Floatopia in Mission Bay in San Diego on March 20, 2010. Floatopia takes advantage of a loophole which does not prohibit drinking while in the water, despite a prohibition on the beach.

San Diego’s Police Captain and Chief Lifeguard will propose closing a loophole in city law that allows drinking in the waters off city beaches but not on the beaches themselves at next Wednesday’s Public Safety Committee meeting.

That loophole has led to four floating parties on Mission Bay since last September. Police and lifeguards estimate each of those parties attracted between 1,500 and 6,000 people.

The proposal they present Wednesday will add 'bathers" who are swimming, wading or floating in the ocean off San Diego's beaches to the alcohol ban.

Chief Lifeguard Rick Wurts said his biggest concern in ending on-water drinking is the revelers’ safety.

“We’ve had a little over 50 rescues," he said. "We’ve had to transport several people to the hospital who were injured. All of those incidents were related to alcohol in some form or fashion.”

Wurtz and Police Captain Christopher Ball estimated the two most recent floating parties in March and May cost their departments about $36,000. And, Ball said, the partiers wreak havoc in the surrounding community.

“There is some community outrage at these events," he said. "What we do see is illegal parking, we see public drunkenness, we see public urination. We have people that are transported to detox."

A “Floatopia” Facebook page said another party is planned for July 17. If adopted by the council the changed ordinance would not likely go into effect until late August.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Arnbarn'

Arnbarn | June 25, 2010 at 4:19 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Unbelievable –
So now the Lifeguards and Police ride to the rescue to save the poor people of Mission Beach from the evil Floatpopians?
If it wasn’t for them and their cohort Kevin Faulkner there would not be an issue. Remember it was the police that turned less than 20 underage drunks into a SWAT operation and the Lifeguards that jumped on their boats to run away.
That plus their unions supporting the ban the Kevin F. rammed though as a test when the permanent ban was voted down by the town council. And the ban didn’t even pass in the areas that were affected.
Now the only people than can legally drink on the beach are the ones that caused the problems.
Don’t worry though - the 3 Musketeers will ride in and take away all of our civil liberties one day at a time.

( | 3741 suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JJ'

JJ | June 25, 2010 at 10:33 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

If you hate floatopia, then you can thank the man solely responsible for it: Kevin Faulconer. Just like Arnbarn said "one freedom at a time", about to be executed once again by our corrupt city council. I can hear "K-Faulk"'s supporters right now. "Oh, but he means well" and "He's protecting us". Claims Mr. Faulconer has repeated himself many times, he once declared himself the "guardian" of san diego's beaches, for example. The exact same "protector" claims made by many notorious historical figures, Adolf Hitler being the most notable of them. I have hope for the future because young san diegan's are justifiably taking advantage of a loophole in that unjust Utah-style law.

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Avatar for user 'PBnative'

PBnative | July 1, 2010 at 2:51 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Personally, I think the civil liberties angle has pretty much gotten old. For all of you who like to drink (and I am one of those), it is not a right to drink in general, so gain a little maturity. Freedom is alive and well. My freedom to go to the beach and bay and not be bothered by drunken idiots has been restored. My freedom to not have persons puke and urinate in my neighborhood has been assisted - especially if the opportunity to do this is reduced by less events like these. And, my tax dollars are not being used to splurge on an event that I personally think is so not classy.

If PB wants to attract this type of person(s) because they claim they spend money, there is clearly something wrong with their facts. Last I saw these event attendees come with their own beer and spend next to nothing in our neighborhood compared to an actual tourist travelling here for their vacation.

( | 3804 suggest removal )

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