Two boats sank during Aquapalooza, police say

Aquapalooza at Potters Cove, Saturday, July 30, 2022. (WLNE)

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WLNE) — Portsmouth police confirmed to ABC 6 that two boats sunk during Aquapalooza over the weekend.

This comes as annually thousands of boaters headed to the waters at Potters Cove off Prudence Island.

Two men were also arrested during the event, police said.

Portsmouth police said the two men identified as Nickolas Franklin, 21, of Warwick and Joel Morales, 28, of North Dartmouth both displayed signs that they were under the influence.

Michael Healey, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Management, released a statement to ABC 6 News.

“Ultimately, Rhode Island taxpayers are going to have to ask themselves if it’s fair that tens of thousands of their tax dollars are spent every year in the form of a law enforcement presence that must be mustered at Potter’s Cove to prevent tragedies from occurring because of the behavior of Aquapalooza boaters.”

He continued, “Because of the drinking that goes on, the Aquapalooza organizers and participants require this massive public response but have no public accountability. The Portsmouth Police and every responding law enforcement and municipal agency deserve tremendous credit for protecting public safety again this year.”

Healey also told ABC 6 News that there were more than 15 boating safety violations. Including not enough life jackets on board, no flares on board, too many occupants on the vessel and more.

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