Say Goodbye To Floatopia

If you want to drink by the beach, you'll now have to be on a boat

By Susan Taylor
|  Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010  |  Updated 8:57 AM PDT
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Final Floatopia?

NBCSanDiego

Rafts filled the area near Mission Bay in March 2010.

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San Diego's City Council puts an instant halt to those so-called "floatopia" parties,  where people booze it up on inner-tubes along Mission Bay. 

Monday the council voted unanimously to close a loophole in the city's beach alcohol ban.  That loophole had allowed revelers to consume alcohol while floating on rafts and other devices just offshore. 

Since January of 2009 people have gotten around the beach booze ban by simply walking a few feet into the water.  

Many of the party-goers considered it the only way to enjoy a beverage while at the beach.  

But then the parties were advertised on social media sites. And thousands of people started showing up.  One event in March drew close to 6,000 people. Though no one has drowned, lifeguards say the parties have led to dozens of rescues and trash left in the water and have cost nearly $20,000 to police.  

According to lifeguards, several people were taken to the hospital. In one case, a man almost drowned because he was so drunk he couldn't stand in the shallow water.  

Councilwoman Marti Emerald said the council had to act because the parties are a public safety risk. Under the new ordinance booze would be banned in the water up to three nautical miles off shore. The only exemption would be for people on board boats.

The new ordinance takes effect immediately. 

We asked our Facebook fans and Twitter followers to weight in. Is this a smart move or is the city just a bunch of party spoilers?

“I will never go but let people have their fun,” Michael Saucedo commented on our Facebook page.

Kathryn Cook wrote, “Flutopia [sic] is an expression of drinker's immaturity and disrespect for others.”

"Understand why this idea doesn't work, but no booze at the beach is ridiculous," @tenthmuse posted on Twitter.

From @PBDigs on Twitter: “#Floatopia is no mas... enjoy Kate Sessions Park while you can because you can bet that's next.”

Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.

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