TAMPA, Fla. - Roughly 40 local agencies worked together to make sure this year’s Gasparilla went off without a hitch, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.
"This is a heavy lift. We plan a year in advance," said Sheriff Chronister. "We use a lot of help from outside agencies even throughout the entire state of Florida, not just here in the Tampa Bay area. We’re here to keep you safe. We’re not here to police you. Police yourselves. Don’t be that guy or girl that gets over-served or thinks, ‘Hey, I want to get my two seconds of fame’. Don’t make us do our job."
Because of the weather, a small craft advisory was issued for boaters. Local law enforcement agencies say it’s too dangerous to be out on the water if you have a small boat or are inexperienced.
"It’s very windy out here, the waters are going to be extremely rough, this is no place for the small boats or the inexperienced boater so we’re asking everybody this year, I know everybody is excited about Gasparilla, but let’s watch the invasion on the land this year and let the invasion happen with the big boat," said Tampa Police Interim Chief Reuben Delgado.
"It’s dangerous because you have so many boats that are so close together, we’re trying to get the invasion and get all the pirates in, and this rocky water makes it unsafe, again, that’s why it’s a small craft advisory, keep your loved ones and your friends safe, enjoy it from land this year," Sheriff Chronister said.