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Water sport businesses impacted by red tide beach closures

Posted: 4:36 PM, Oct 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-03 03:27:51-04

Beaches in Palm Beach County will remain closed on Wednesday from Lake Worth Beach north to the Martin County line, and water sport businesses are feeling the pinch. 

Jetskis were docked and kayaks and paddle boards were stowed at the Riviera Beach Marina Tuesday. As beaches closed, so did some water sport rentals. 

"We have no reservations for tomorrow," said Ryan Shamblin Blue Water Boat Rentals. 

Shamblin said word's out about red tide and people are staying away from the water. Shamblin said he rented one boat out all day Tuesday. 

"There's nobody out there," said Ed Horton who rented a boat at the marina. 

Shamblin said his rental neighbors decided not to open since beaches are closed. Visit Palm Beach made the same decision to suspend kayak and paddle board rentals until beaches open Wednesday. They rented Jetskis but with a risk advisory issued to all renters.

Before beaches closed, people reported respiratory issues. 

"Scratchy throat, watery eyes, I was coughing," said Vickie Reisdorf with Friends of Palm Beach.

The Friends of Palm Beach team cleaned up near the Intracoastal Waterway Tuesday, avoiding contact with the irritants in the air at the beaches. 

"They mentioned low to medium levels, medium scares me," said Diane Buhler, Founder of Friends of Palm Beach. 

Shamblin believes fear might keep people away on Wednesday even when the beaches open. He hopes the effects of red tide will get flushed out soon. 

"I think it's tragic," he said. "It's how we make a living is by getting people out on the water."