MIAMI – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez didn’t like what he was seeing on social media and when he caught wind of a flier circulating inviting boaters to a “sandbar party” at Haulover Inlet that was the last straw.
Late Saturday evening, he issued a statement announcing a shutdown of boat ramps and marinas.
Gimenez is closing all boat ramps at Miami-Dade County parks immediately until further notice. Commercial fisherman who provide food for restaurants and markets will be allowed, but pleasure boaters will not.
He promised that the Miami-Dade Police Department would be patrolling the waters. “(They will be) ramping up enforcement of my ‘no rafting up’ order to keep large group parties from taking place.”
Airborne International Response Team captured aerial drone video of hundreds of boats anchored and partying at Haulover Inlet sandbar around 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Gimenez said he was disappointed to see photos and videos on social media of boats close together and large groups of people congregating. The “sandbar party” flier circulating throughout South Florida was "truly disheartening, but mostly worrisome,“ he said in a statement.
The mayor scolded those involved that they should practice personal responsibility.
“We are in a state of emergency. These sacrifices in our social lives are critical now in order to defeat COVID-19. Those of you not following these guidelines are putting others at risk, perhaps your own family and friends. And, you could be contributing to a much longer scenario and further shutdowns in our community.”