Beachgoers, Authorities Prepare For ‘Floatopia’ Party

March 16, 2010 1 Comment

Thousands of people on spring break are expected to launch rafts and inner tubes in Sail Bay this weekend for what is called “Floatopia.”

In its second year, Floatopia is an event in which partiers take advantage of a loophole in the city’s beach alcohol ban.

This Saturday, as many as 6,000 people have RSVPs to Floatopia, and the three things needed are a raft, some beer and a lot of friends.

On Labor Day weekend last year, Floatopia was launched as a way to exploit the city’s beach drinking law.

Pacific Beach resident Meredith Stone said, “Oh absolutely, there’s a bunch of drunken idiots out there and that’s one of the reasons I stay away.”
Stone said she doesn’t have a problem with Floatopia, but like police and lifeguards, she does worry about safety.

During the last Floatopia event, lifeguards responded to several near drownings. This Saturday, 15 extra lifeguards will be ready and police are summoning extra officers.

“We will have the resources we need to take care of problems if they occur,” said San Diego Police Department Capt. Chris Ball.

This Saturday’s Floatopia will be the first big water event since the police department’s Harbor Patrol disbanded. Coast Guard and lifeguard boats will pick up the slack while officers on the beach will deal with public drunkenness, littering and whatever else may happen.

The last Floatopia ended with two or three arrests, a dozen citations and numerous beer cans littering the shore. While some neighbors have complained about the event, others like Stone say live and let live.

“I mean, as long as people are abiding by the safety rules as best they can, there’s no harm, no foul,” said Stone.
The last Floatopia was an all-day event, but this Saturday’s gathering may not last that long due to the expected low water temperatures.

Source: 10News.com (with video)
5:40 pm PDT March 16, 2010

Floatopia
One Comments to “Beachgoers, Authorities Prepare For ‘Floatopia’ Party”
  1. Walter Ladwig, Jr. says:

    Please disregard those malcontents who want to ban drinking in Kate Sessions Park.

    As a long time resident of Pacific Beach, and a member of Friends of Kate Sessions Park, my family has spent many hours in the park. My children played games there, my family and friends have picnics on the slopes over looking the City, and I walk or jog there. Never have I witnessed drunken behavior, even with the heavier use of the park since alcohol has been banned at the Beach. Young people, both men and women, play games there and often have a beer so they can enjoy their play. The same with gatherings on holidays, which I have attended, and special events, such as the one a few weeks ago when people enjoyed a rock-band, and drank beer. A problem has been the location of picnic tables at the south end of the park near residential properties where noisy picnics have taken place. The solution: move the tables more into the interior of the park.

    The problem is not with those who drink in the park it is with those who bring in their dogs,let them run loose, and don’t clean up after them. I served on the Friends of Kate Sessions Park to establish the dog park on Soledad Mountain Road, and thought that solved the problem. Kate Sessions now has a leash law, but it is being violated. Famillies should be able to enjoy themselves by finding a clean place on the slope, and not be bothered when eating, or when jogging.Families like to have a beer too.It is not the drinking that is the problem, it is the dogs.

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