EDITOR’S NOTE: File video from a past Aquapalooza event was inadvertently used in a prior version of this story. It has since been updated.
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — Two boats sank and at least two people were arrested as boaters flocked to Potter’s Cove Saturday for Aquapalooza.
The summer tradition, which is always held at the end of July, is an annual celebration that boaters look forward to and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) dreads.
“The way we feel about it is … it’s a gigantic frat party,” DEM spokesperson Mike Healey said Friday. “It’s a keg party in the middle of Narragansett Bay on the busiest weekend of the summer.”
Healey said at least two operators were cited for boating under the influence and more than 15 safety citations were issued for violations like not having too many occupants or not enough life jackets on board.
Two people were also hurt, including one who suffered a leg injury from a moving propeller, Healey added.
As several law enforcement agencies patrolled the waters during the event, Healey estimates the response will cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.