Spring break is approaching, and the impending “Innertubapalooza” was the highlight of the March 10 Mission Beach Town Council meeting held in the community room at Belmont Park.
In 2009, locals coined the title “Innertubapalooza” for the floating parties that take place on Sail Bay. Spring-breakers have lounged on various-sized rafts, inner tubes, and other floating devices in Sail Bay for the past two years as a way of circumventing the beach alcohol ban; due to a loophole in the law, drinking on rafts is legal.
Last year, over 3000 spring-breakers took part in Innertubapalooza. Police and lifeguards had their work cut out for them with regards to safety issues: 50 citations were handed out, and lifeguards performed 18 water rescues. It is anticipated that this year’s event will present worse scenarios due to the recent cuts in the police force and lifeguard staff.
“Reaching a drunken or unconscious victim who has slipped beneath the water is a challenge for obvious reasons,” said a council member.
“In addition to staff layoffs and huge safety issues,” said an attendee, “we are also concerned about the massive amount of litter that ends up sunken in the bay.”
A representative from the SDPD said, “From a police perspective, we are concerned about their safety and will be keeping large boats out of their way so their devices aren’t popped, but they’re not breaking the law.”
Participants claim the floating parties are not acts of rebellion against the beach alcohol ban but rather a way of getting together and having a good time.