The Ocean Bay Park Association “fully supports” the cancellation of all 1 a.m. ferries from Ocean Beach and Ocean Bay Park on Fire Island to the mainland indefinitely, according to a statement.
The sudden announcement to end the ferries was made Wednesday afternoon, and came in the form of a letter issued jointly by the Fire Island Ferries company and the Village of Ocean Beach.
That letter was posted to the ferry company’s website and Facebook page.
A representative of Fire Island Ferries later issued a statement that shed light on the decision. The ferry company GM explained that the early-morning ferry crowd had become “borderline unmanageable” and was posing safety threats to ferry staffers.
The early morning ferries started in the early 1990s, he explained, and at first the crowd was manageable and without confrontations.
“The 1 a.m. ferry has now morphed into a 1 a.m. of undesirables with no morals and borderline unmanageable without instance,” read the statement.
GreaterBayShore reached out to the Ocean Bay Park Association for a statement, and the response was that the group “fully supports” the decision.
The association concurred with the ferry company’s assessment of the situation.
Below is the association’s statement in full.
A not very subtle change has taken place in the ridership of this late ferry. No longer do we see innocent fun and laughter at this late hour. The new norm seems to be rife with anger and resentment coupled with excessive alcohol making for a very unsafe experience for passengers and crew. Fire Island Ferries has always provided a safe and clean transportation to and from Fire Island and this 1 a.m. has put that in jeopardy.
We are cognizant that once these passengers arrive in Bay Shore, they may be getting into vehicles and driving away from the ferry terminal.
It seems no good can come from two more hours of alcohol being consumed on Fire Island. A last boat of 11 p.m. seems appropriate for this family community.
There are plenty of establishments on the mainland that continue to serve alcohol; people wishing to continue gather at drinking establishments have ample choices to make once they are safely brought back to Bay Shore by Fire Island Ferries.
— The OBPA