In July, the San Diego City Council voted in favor of banning “floatopia,” parties from occurring along the city’s coastline. This followed a 2009 vote by which the city banned alcohol consumption on public beaches. This new ban prohibits drinking on the water as well.
The so-called “floatopia” parties have risen in popularity among young adults over the years and usually involve three things: water, inner tubes and liquor.
Why so serious?
As Melissa Dahl points out in MSNBC’s health section; water, sun, friends and alcohol may go well together; but sometimes the sum total turns tragic. Even when it doesn’t the danger posed by intoxication and deep water may be too big of a risk for some cities to justify for the sake of tourism.
In 2009, during Santa Barbara’s Floatopia event, 33 individuals were sent to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, heat exposure and cuts. Dahl cites the journal Inquiry Prevention, which, in 2004, revealed that alcohol is found in the blood of up to 70 percent of drowning victims. This number included only those who had drowned during water-based recreational activities.
Tubing “cruises” are especially dangerous because of the ease with which one can slip off or through the tube. At least on a boat there will likely be some room to fumble around. On an inner tube, lean too far in one direction and you could be underwater before you even realize what’s happening.
Then there is the danger that people driving home from tubing outings will be intoxicated and, potentially, perish or be injured driving home after an afternoon of sun and alcohol. Even worse, innocent drivers or pedestrians could be struck by drunk drivers.