Fire Island Cancels Late-Night Ferry Over Complaints About Rowdy Crowds

OCEAN BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — If you’re planning on late-night partying on Fire Island, be prepared to stay the night.

The 1 a.m. ferry to Ocean Beach and Ocean Bay Park has been cancelled following complaints about rowdy crowds.

By day, the journey from the Bay Shore terminal to Ocean Beach on Fire Island in Suffolk County is peaceful and relaxing, but residents say that wasn’t the case this past Sunday night for the last ferry out at 1 a.m.

“On a weekend night, it is horrific. They’re drunk, they’re peeing under people’s houses, they’re defecating, puking. It’s a disaster,” Ocean Beach resident Ronnie Elovitch said.

Ocean Beach police had their hands so full with the inebriated crowd, the mayor and the ferry company decided to cancel the overnight ferry for the rest of the summer.

“This is the first step in taking back our village from the chaos,” Mayor Jim Mallott said.

The mayor acknowledged the out-of-control partying has become difficult to control dockside. So, the latest ferry out will now be at 11 p.m.

“It’s putting a strain on our police department, it’s putting a strain on our EMS department, and the fire department,” Mallot added.

However, businesses lining the Ocean Beach docks are moaning about shutting the ferry down early, certain it will mean fewer customers. Some seasonal workers told CBS2 they count on the revenue to pay for things like their student debts.

“We depend on the money to get through the school year, and some for even the school year to go to college,” bartender Mark Woletsky said.

Cara Romeo said the change is ruining a long-planned celebration with her family and friends.

“This is my 30th birthday, we came to celebrate, and a lot of friends had to cancel, because they can’t stay at the house and they can’t take the 1-o-clock ferry home,” she said.

Others say cancelling the 1 a.m. ferry has dampened their summer-long plans.

“We rented a house for the summer, and it’s definitely going to affect us. When we have friends over, we don’t have that much room for everyone to stay,” Sam Passante, of Bay Shore, said.

The mayor said he will review what happens with future crowds, but insists the cancelled 1 a.m. ferry will not return this summer.

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