Westport’s alcohol-at-Compo rule — it’s permitted only on South Beach, and glass bottles are prohibited everywhere — was severely tested at last month’s fireworks.

Some folks had no idea of the regulations.  Others simply flouted it.

But even the most diehard drinker has a ways to go to beat San Diego.

A tiny slice of Floatopia.

When alcohol was banned on all city beaches last year, intrepid citizens organized “Floatopias.”  They grabbed a few cold ones, jumped into inner tubes and any other “floating device,” then lounged in the water a few feet from shore.

Thanks to Facebook and other social media, up to 6,000 people attend the events.  The city spends over $20,000 monitoring each Floatopia.

Lifeguards have made 66 rescues.  One man — too drunk to stand up in shallow water — almost drowned.

The City Council is fighting back.  A proposed ordinance would prohibit alcohol consumption up to 3 nautical miles offshore.

They say California trends are often a year or two ahead of the rest of the country…

3 responses to “Floatopia

  1. I was recently turned away from the beach at a few minutes after 10pm, and was amazed that during the summer months the beach was not open till midnite or 1am. i remember when we were kids in the 70’s that some citizens had tried to curfew the beach hours and it was the police who stepped forward to suggest that the beach is a very safe spot, one enterance and exit, and one police car could generally cover the whole beach scene. They suggested that closing the beach would not eliminate youthful behavior, so lets keep it Compo for our kids. Why do we close the beach so early? it is a great place for maturing kids to play.

  2. The evening submarine races don’t finish till 12:30 or 1 AM, depending on the tides. We should close the beach 30 minutes after they end and the results are posted.

  3. Wendy Crowther

    Ben – The earlier beach closing is due to the Town’s budget issues. In response to budget pressure, the Parks & Recreation Department and Commission decided to close the beach earlier (among other things) in order to cut back on expenses (therefore saving on dollars paid to staff who tend the beach until closing).