Florida Teens Facing Felony Charges After Getting Caught On Camera Dumping Trash Cans Into The Ocean

boat dumping trash
Wavy Boats


Of course with our use of the ocean also comes the responsibility to keep it clean, not just for others to use and enjoy but obviously for the wildlife that call it home.

So naturally many were infuriated when a video went viral showing two boaters dumping trash cans over the side of their boat off of Boca Inlet down in Florida.

The group was heading out from Boca Bash, an annual party on Lake Boca Raton in south Florida, and event organizers quickly condemned the participants for dumping what appeared to be a trash can full of empty cans into the water not far from the shore:

“Addressing the viral video of a boat exiting the inlet into open ocean and dumping their garbage into our waterways; we cannot be more angered and disturbed by these actions.

Once the video was posted we quickly got to work with the community to discover who the owner of the boat was and who was on the vessel in this particular instance committing an egregious act. Several people that helped in identifying them had already contacted authorities to handle the situation.

By no means do we believe this is a representation of the gathering. We implore and expect boaters to keep the waterways clean, uphold proper boating etiquette, and follow state laws while on the water. We also are very clear that it is of utmost importance to hire a captain for your vessel if you are on the water enjoying drinks.

It is shameful to see local boaters from surrounding cities have little to no respect for our local wildlife and marine ecosystems. We do not condone this behavior by any means and are appalled that the passengers even had the audacity to clap at the drone that was filming them dumping their garbage. We hope the repercussions handed down can be viewed publicly as a warning of how important our waters are to us native Floridians.”

Well authorities quickly tracked down the offenders, who turned out to be juveniles, and charged them each with one felony count each of causing pollution so as to harm or injure human health or welfare, animal, plant, or aquatic life or property.

The third-degree felony charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

According to the arrest report filed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Charles Ruth, the 15-year old driver of the boat dumped a container into the ocean containing “plastic water bottles, cans, food bags, plastic cups and other unidentifiable items.” The teen then pumped the basket up over his head.

And according to the arrest report, the other minor seen dumping a trash can into the ocean is 16-year old Michael Kirby.

The parents of one of the teens released a statement calling the incident a “teaching moment” and making the case for community service:

“We take the responsibility of caring for our oceans and our community very seriously, and we are extremely saddened by what occurred last weekend at Boca Bash. We want to extend our sincerest apologies to everyone who has been impacted and rightfully upset by what occurred.

Our family and our counsel have remained in touch with FWC since we were first contacted by them and have continued to cooperate with all authorities.

As a family, we agree with FWC Commissioner Rodney Barreto that this is a teaching moment for the young kids involved and they should certainly participate in community service and ocean conservation efforts to deepen their understanding of the importance of our community and environment.”

And another teen who was onboard the boat but was not seen dumping trash and has not been charged spoke out in favor of consequences for his friends:

“I feel like he deserves whatever happens, because he made a really bad decision.”

Definitely not smart, but hopefully they learn their lesson.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock