Floating Longboat amusement park brings waves of ire

Editor & Publisher

The floating jungle gym that can be seen most days just north of Longboat Key presents a dangerous and unsightly situation says one Longboat Key resident.

The two-story floating barge that features tube slides and diving platforms draws both adults and children who frolic on the floating attraction that is a short swim off of Beer Can Island.

The operator, Edwin Toro, says he has liability insurance and requires a waiver and has reportedly had no injuries to date. But for Longboat Key native Tom Mayers, who has lived on the north end of Longboat for his entire life, the entire operation is fraught with danger, liability and is an “unattractive nuisance.”

Mayers wrote the town this past week and posed the following:

“Do they (the operators) and you (the town) have the common sense to know that you are encouraging activities that are dangerous to human lives? These pass waters can exceed the speed that an excellent swimmer can swim. There are many other reasons that you should consider as there is no parking area for patrons and many people trespass on private property in order to get to the ‘fun barge.’”

Mayers also raised the issue of no restroom facilities for patrons along with possible sign violations and traffic problems created on the bridge.

“My final question is who will be responsible if someone drowns while using this unattractive nuisance? Will it be the fault of the owners of the business, the town commissioners, the county commissioners, or the local police who have allowed this activity to continue?” said Mayers.

Police Chief Pete Cumming said the floating structure that also features swings trampolines is outside of Longboat Key’s municipal limits and its jurisdiction. Cumming did tell Longboat Key News that he believes there are serious concerns over safety, and he added that there are agencies that may have the ability to regulate the activity.

“The way I see it, is there is always room for arguing the law or taking a legislative approach toward this kind of activity,” said Cumming.

For Mayers, who lives at Land’s End and is a former lifeguard, a possible alternative location is the Coquina Beach boat ramp, where there is public parking, restrooms, and less current.

Some residents have complained that the entire operation adds a ‘Disney-like effect’ to the entrance of Longboat Key and is in contradiction of all the efforts to make the entrance to the north end of the island visually appealing with a goal of enhancing residents’ lifestyles and property values.



Tags: , ,

Longboat Key News

1 Response for “Floating Longboat amusement park brings waves of ire”

  1. maureen merrigan says:

    I wish this was all we had to worry about right now on the north end with Irma on her way to Florida. Tom Mayer though makes great points about the fun barge and puts forward a safer, more appropriate solution for all (barge patrons, beach goers and LBK residents) by suggesting the Coquina boat ramp area.

Leave a Reply