Many people get into trouble swimming to Floatopia

RIVIERA BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Boaters turned into rescuers at Floatopia, a floating party the sheriff's office says got way out of hand this year with way more people showing up than expected.

People who attended say the entire area was nuts -- filled with underaged drinking. It got so bad the ferry that leaves from the dock stopped running, so partiers decided to try and swim out to Peanut Island on their own.

Peanut Island was a madhouse Sunday. "By the time we got closer to them, they started waving frantically and saying help me help me help me," said Kate Wentley.

Young people, in the water, trying to swim to the party! "We had a couple of lifeguards in our party on the boat, and they recognized that they were gasping and couldn't have held on much longer," said another boater.

Last year's Floatopia Spring Break Party was out of hand, as well. There was even a stripper pole, and people actually set up little stages in the middle of the sandbar, so girls can dance on them.

The party doesn't have one organizer -- just a series of Facebook groups and DJs who show up. "You have a lot of underage drinking out here to try to enforce. Just basically keeping the peace," said FWC Officer Katie Wright.

Wright says most of the illegal activity happens in the water and not on Peanut Island. "The tides and the currents are so strong out here, people don't understand that. Add alcohol into that, and it is just a dangerous situation."

Because there is no organizer and all these people just show up and float around, there is no permit needed and no one the county can hold responsible.

Concerned citizens were out at the Sandbar Monday picking up all the trash.

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