Captain, owners of NY party boat arrested after 'packed' cruise

Police allege coronavirus restrictions were violated aboard Liberty Belle

(NEW YORK) — The captain and owners of a Manhattan cruise vessel were arrested for defying coronavirus social distancing mandates and going for a crowded excursion, the New York Daily News reported.

Liberty Belle, a four-story riverboat, had just returned to Pier 36 in Lower Manhattan about 11:30 p.m. Saturday when officers from the New York City Sheriff’s Department broke up the 1920s-themed party and made arrests.

Officers arrested the boat’s owners in charge of the party, Ronny Vargas and Alex Sauzo. They also arrested the captain, Joseph Spadaro of Staten Island, and issued him a summons.

The boat set sail around 8:30 p.m. with over 170 revelers on board, many of whom posted pictures and videos of their onboard exploits to social media.

“So a packed Liberty Belle party boat just departed from Pier 36 on the LES waterfront with no apparent social distancing or mask requirement,” an alarmed local group, The Resident Association of The Two Bridges Waterfront Tower, tweeted along with a pic of the boat with two crowded decks. “Who has jurisdiction over these floating nightclubs?”

Disciplinary actions or fines for the owners of the boat will be decided at their court date. The captain was allowed to return the boat to its mooring at Atlantic Basin in Red Hook.

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Categories: Industry News, Maritime News