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Major Annual Columbus Day Weekend Boat Gathering Held

Biscayne National Park

National Park News

Over Columbus Day weekend, Biscayne, Everglades and Big Cypress protection rangers took part in the yearly multi-agency effort to manage the huge boat gathering in the park. This operation is mainly a public safety event.  Over 100 law enforcement officers and EMS individuals from many federal, state and local agencies took part, including the NPS, the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Miami-Dade Police, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, City of Miami PD, City of Coral Gables PD, City of Bal Harbor PD, City of Miami Beach PD, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. They patrolled a large anchorage area with hundreds of boats and people. Most of the visitors come during this weekend to engage in heavy drinking, nudity and rowdiness. The event ended with 17 people arrested for boating under the influence, three for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and one for domestic violence.  EMS personnel responded to 57 calls during the event, a few serious, but there were no fatalities this year.  The event is the largest event that takes place in the park on an annual basis.  Biscayne has an excellent working relationship with its partners, which enables the park to save thousands of dollars in coverage and other expenses during this event.


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