By Gaige Davila
A local charter boat company was criticized by the Cameron County Judge, after a video filmed over the weekend showed a boat with several people on it not wearing face coverings.
During a press conference on July 20, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño showed a Facebook video from Friday, July 17, showing Murphy’s Law, owned by Captain Murphy’s charter service, with several people aboard. The video was filmed by Clayton Brashear, owner of Clayton’s Beach Bar & Grill, and posted on the bar’s Facebook page, titled, “Party time on the bay (boat emoji) Spi (sic) is open (surfing emoji).”
At the time of the video’s filming, some people aboard Murphy’s Law some are not wearing face masks while others are. Most of the comments posted on the video were critical of people coming to South Padre Island while cases continue to increase in Cameron County.
“Those people on the boat are not following our mandate,” Treviño said during the July 20 press conference.
South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty said he was disappointed in Captain Murphy’s and Brashear’s filming of the post, saying the latter “seems to be supporting this type of irresponsible behavior.”
“We as a city have been spending thousands of hours and tens of thousands in money to create a safe social distancing setting on the beach, educating the general public on proper protocols and creating goodwill with our visitors regarding our brand,” McNulty told the PRESS in a text message. “The selfish acts of a few have caused our island brand considerable tarnish.”
McNulty said Captain Murphy’s has received a citation for violating the city’s COVID-19 ordinances.
“Hopefully, business owners will learn from this and it will inspire 100 percent dedication to enforcing the COVID orders,” McNulty said.
Treviño, frustrated, said if even one person had COVID-19 on the boat, it is possible that they could have exposed several people on their boat, then exposed more people when they left the boat.
Lisa Graves, Operations Manager for Isla Tours and Captain Murphy’s, said the company requires face masks, sanitizer stations are in “several places” and that they are monitoring the health of their employees. Per Cameron County guidelines, their boats are operating at 50 percent capacity, which is 44 people. It is not clear how many people were on Murphy’s Law during the time of the video.
“We did not foresee this kind of response to our cruise,” Graves said, commenting on the backlash given to the video of Murphy’s Law.
Graves, when asked why people were not wearing masks this past Saturday on Murphy’s Law, said that while they require that all aboard are wearing masks, they cannot enforce people to wear them.
“We are not the police and do not have the authority that they wear their mask,” Graves said. “We do try our best to ensure that they are wearing their mask throughout the trip.”
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