Vandals slash ‘floating waterpark’

Michael Morgan inspects the punctured and deflated sections of his floating waterpark. - Photo: Charles Duncan

Overnight Wednesday, someone took a blade and stabbed dozens of holes into the thick green and yellow rubberized canvas of the inflatable waterpark, normally seen off Public Beach.

When Michael Morgan, who owns the Seven Mile Beach attraction, got to the beach Thursday morning, he found numerous pieces stabbed and deflated where he stores them on the beach.

“This is what we use to feed our families,” he said, standing on the beach next to the deflated pieces of the waterpark. Mr. Morgan said he reported the damage to police when he found the punctured pieces at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Mr. Morgan said he has run the attraction in the water off Public Beach for six years and this is the third time he has had problems with someone intentionally damaging his equipment over that time.

He said he spent almost $27,000 to buy a new set of water toys, including slides, a trampoline and climbing walls.

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He rents out the floating waterpark for parties and school trips, and charges cruise ship passengers $15 an hour to use the park.

On Thursday morning, he had to cancel a booking for a school group. He said he hoped to be able to patch up the holes in time for a scheduled birthday party over the weekend.

Mr. Morgan and other vendors on Public Beach have been in a dispute with government over using crown land to run businesses. He said he has received two letters from government but has yet to be fined for continuing to run his business from the beach.

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