Newly reopened Florida marina shut down after trucks, boats line up for hours

Tribune Content Agency

MIAMI — Hundreds of cars and trucks trailing boats that were lined up heading into Blackpoint Marina Saturday morning, some since dawn, were turned around because the marina reached capacity before noon.

People started camping out on the road Friday night around 10 for a chance to be among the first to be let into the marina when it opened at 6 a.m. to launch their boat after not being able to for the past six weeks. Marinas were among the list of public spaces closed by Miami-Dade County because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

But many didn’t get the chance. The county-operated marina’s parking lot was full by around 10 a.m., said Miami-Dade police officers staffing a roadblock.

On Wednesday, the county opened its marinas and parks, which saw steady crowds, but nothing like those on Friday when Blackpoint became so overwhelmed with people trying to launch their boats from one of its four ramps that the marina had to close hours after opening.

On Saturday, most of those waiting in line seemed to be willing to endure the hours of sitting in their vehicles for a chance to go boating and fishing after weeks of being confined on land and mostly indoors.

Emily Sandoval, her husband, Alvaro, and their three kids were among the hundreds waiting in their cars to get into the marina. At 8 a.m., they had already been waiting in line since around 5:30 a.m. and still had more than 100 cars and trucks towing boats ahead of them. But they just bought their boat Friday so they were eager to get out on the water.

Leandro Acosta was standing outside his friend’s truck because the line was not moving. It’s been about seven months since he was last on a boat, so he and his group were willing to wait in the line. But he worried how long they would have to wait to launch their boat from the ramp once they got inside the marina.

“It’s been at least three to four hours to go in, I don’t know how it’s going to be to go out,” Acosta said.

A Miami-Dade police officer directing traffic said the marina parking lot has capacity for 185 trailered boats. The marina was letting 10 vehicles in at a time, and two at a time to use one of the four ramps once on the property.

“We’re just here to make sure there are no fights and everything is good,” the officer said.

Livan Cordosa, his two cousins and a friend arrived around 5:40 a.m. They were excited to go fishing, and the long line did not discourage them.

“We were waiting for a couple of months, so for us it was worth it,” Cordosa said. “We wanted to come Wednesday, but we were working.”


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