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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
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
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.