Man who chartered yacht off Coconut Grove says he never told crew to pop, throw balloons in water – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
COCONUT GROVE, FLA. (WSVN) – – The man who chartered the yacht from which crews jumped and tossed party balloons into Biscayne Bay off Coconut Grove has taken to social media to say he doesn’t had never told the workers to get rid of the balloons that way.
Speaking in a video posted to the @tomrivas Instagram account on Wednesday night, the man who claimed to have chartered the vessel said the crew’s reckless actions were not his fault.
“I really want to put my heart out and say how I think it’s so important to take care of our environment, and things like this definitely need to be addressed,” he said.
The man said he chartered the boat to celebrate his engagement, and it was meant to be a happy and exciting occasion.
Cellphone video captured crew members bursting balloons and dropping them onto the water near Bayshore Landing Marina on Tuesday afternoon.
Comments from Esteban Bruna of the Miami Maritime Group, the witness who recorded the video, could be heard in the footage.
“Gotta love charter boats in Miami. Let’s have a party,” he said.
The video sparked outrage and went viral shortly after Bruna posted it on social media.
In his Instagram video, the man said he never told crew members to throw the balloons into Biscayne Bay.
“We went inside, and that was the end. We couldn’t see the balloons anymore,” he said. “They said, ‘We have to take the balloons out’ because the balloons can’t go out to sea,” and I said, “OK, cool, no problem. Take them out, whatever.
But it’s how the crew pulled them out that makes other boaters see red.
“People were mad, I was mad. I was glad I got to post [the video]“Bruna said.
Bruna said he tried to talk to the crew, to no avail.
“They basically ignored me and let me down, so I went ahead and posted it and let people do what people do,” he said.
“‘Pop’, every balloon on the bow of the boat straight into the water,” Bruna says in the video.
The clip also caught the attention of the Miami-Dade Police’s Illegal Dumping Unit, which went to the marina on Wednesday to investigate.
JP Ortega, who runs an eco-tour of the marina, recorded video of the balloons on the yacht before they were popped.
“It was really frustrating to see someone with that kind of ignorance,” he said. “We thought they were going to end up in the bay unintentionally. We never thought that two hours later they were going to pop the balloons on the water.
Other boaters sprung into action and attempted to salvage some of the balloons and clean up what they could to prevent them from entering the mouths of animals they could injure or kill.
“We remove trash from the bay all the time, and here we have people deliberately popping balloons and throwing them in the water, so that made us angry,” said David Furer of Salty Miami Eco. Towers.
“Lots of wild animals here, and [plastic debris] takes thousands of years to disappear,” Ortega said. “He doesn’t even disappear. It becomes micro parts.
As anger grows, local boaters hope people will learn from the incident.
“Clean up after yourself. We have an ocean,” Bruna said.
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