2 boaters seen on viral video dumping trash overboard in Florida ocean are minors, an official says

Two boaters seen on a viral video dumping trash into the ocean off Florida are minors, and charges against them are imminent, a state official said Thursday.

Attorneys for the juveniles have advised them not to cooperate with investigators, said Maj. Dustin Bonds, a south region commander with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or FWC.

The agency is working with prosecutors in Palm Beach County’s state attorney’s office to determine the appropriate charge, Bonds said.

The weight of the garbage that was dumped Sunday into the Boca Inlet could affect the charges, Bonds said.

Bonds said he was in disbelief as he watched the video because he has never seen anyone dump trash into the ocean.

“I was shocked that folks who are enjoying our waterways, just like the hundreds of boaters in Boca that day were doing, but this one boat decided that it was OK to dump two trash cans overboard,” he said.

Others seen on the boat have also been identified, the wildlife agency said.

But Bonds said he hopes witnesses on the boat will step forward and speak to investigators. Bonds said that about 16 minors were on the boat and that only one of them has voluntarily spoken to investigators.

FWC Chair Rodney Barreto said on NBC’s “TODAY” show that the video “has become a worldwide story. “I mean, the world is watching this.”

Officials did not publicly identify the people they said were involved.

The wildlife agency said it is working with the state attorney’s office to “identify appropriate charges” in the incident, which happened Sunday at the Boca Inlet.

The video, which content creator Wavy Boats posted on YouTube, shows two people each dumping a trash bin full of garbage into the sea.

A video still of boaters dumping trash off a boat into the ocean (Wavy Boats / YouTube)

The boaters in the video attended the annual Boca Bash, according to its organizers, who said they are working to identify them.

“We cannot be more angry and disturbed by these actions,” the Boca Bash said in a statement on its Facebook page. “Once the video was posted we quickly got to work with the community to discover who the owner of the boat was and who was on the vessel in this particular instance committing an egregious act. “Several people that helped in identifying them had already contacted authorities to handle the situation.”

Organizers also said they would like to see the boaters involved face “repercussions”:

“We do not condone this behavior by any means and are appalled that the passengers even had the audacity to clap at the drone that was filming them dumping their garbage. We hope the repercussions handed down can be viewed publicly as a warning of how important our waters are to us native Floridians.”

Anyone involved in the incident who would like to come forward is urged to contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

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