Several people taken to this hospital at "Floatopia" - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Several people taken to this hospital at "Floatopia"

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Riviera Beach, FL (WFLX) -- An annual event on Peanut Island sent more than a dozen people to the hospital Sunday.

Officials with Riviera Beach Fire Rescue say "Floatopia" gave some people a dangerous start to their spring break.

Floatopia has become an annual celebration on the island to kick off the spring break season.

It's an event that draws hundreds of boats and thousands of people to an afternoon on the sandbar, enjoying the weather, music and some adult drinks.

But attendee William Douglas Nicely knows some had a little too much fun. "A lot of drinking going on, kids getting out of control," Nicely described.

Officials with fire rescue say the party ended early for about 16 people who were put on stretchers and sent to the hospital.

Officials say the majority got into fights or had too much to drink.

Fire Rescue says there were also several near drownings.

"Obviously, being around alcohol and water do not mix. We're concerned about people going out too far in the water and getting in over their head," said Russ Elgin, Riviera Beach Fire Rescue Division Chief.

Fire Rescue began receiving emergency calls early in the afternoon. After a few calls, officials kept a permanent presence in the area so they could quickly respond to future calls.

As the season continues, officials hope the rescue calls will die down, and boaters and drinkers will remember, "know the law and don't go into excess," said Elgin.

Officials with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office say one person was arrested for Boating Under the Influence. Law enforcement gave out numerous warnings and citations, but made no underage arrests.

The Sheriff's Office also says there were three boat crashes, two of which resulted in the vessels overturning with people on board.

Fire Rescue says some of those who were taken to the hospital were struggling to maintain consciousness or had fractured bones, but they did not immediately consider any injuries to be life threatening.

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