S. Fla. company takes heat for selling 'refugee boats'

BoatsToGo.com offers boat on website


MIAMI – A South Florida company is taking heat after offering "refugee edition" inflatable boats on its website.

Boats To Go in North Miami currently lists on its website an Extra Large Capacity Inflatable Boat - Refugee Edition for sale for $1,599, although the listing shows the product as being sold out.

In a description of the boat, the website says it is "Great as utility barge for transportation of migrants and refugees across the globe."

The description goes on to claim that they are "not just for transporting war-torn immigrants from Iraq and Syria."

Critics immediately blasted Boats To Go on social media, with some asking if the listing was a joke.

Thousands of refugees have already died in the current European crisis where many are attempting to leave unstable counties such as Syria and Iraq in order to seek asylum in Europe.

Boats To Go says that its inflatable boat "gives extra buoyancy to the boat overcrowded beyond its capacity," a reference to the overcrowding issues that increase the perils of crossing the Mediterranean Sea in such small watercraft.

A Boats To Go manager spoke to Local 10 and expressed surprise over the criticism the listing has caused.

"We didn't expect this kind of reaction," Eliott Germansky told Local 10.  "But it's probably something that we will change, maybe as soon as tonight (Tuesday)."