In recent days, two different flyers have been circulating on social media platforms promoting “takeover parties” at Crab Island and in Destin.
- On Monday morning, a joint press conference was held with Okaloosa & Walton County Sheriff’s Offices where they discussed these planned events following recent events in Panama City Beach, FL.
Now, the Okaloosa County Watersport Operators Coalition has issued a statement regarding these planned “takeovers.”
“The coalition is well aware of these events, and all operators have been informed as well as USCG, FWC and OCSO,” said Greg Fisher, OCWOC. “Operators will be taking additional precautions to ensure the safety of our waterways including additional training to inexperienced boaters.”
- The Okaloosa County Watersport Operators Coalition was formed in January of 2021 by a group of concerned rental operators that want to see a safe and sustainable future for commercial boating activities in Okaloosa County.
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According to Fisher, some pontoon and jet-ski rental companies have decided to completely cease operations on the day of the scheduled parties.
“Our operators are going to do everything they can to not only keep people safe, but individual property safe as well,” explained Fisher. “We are advocating for safety and many operators are already planning to do extra training for inexperienced boaters, in addition to having more staff to monitor guests.”
At the press conference on Monday, Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson Jr. addressed these very concerns too.
“There are concerns about the activities at Crab Island, particularly with livery boats,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can to bring that to heel.”