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2 Teens Turn Themselves in After Video of Them Dumping Trash Into Ocean Goes Viral

Two teens turned themselves in after a video documenting them dumping trash in the ocean off Boca Raton, Fla., went viral, reports Palm Beach Post, WFLX and NBC Miami.

The video of the two teens, who have not been publicly identified, was posted by Wavy Boats’ Instagram account on Tuesday, April 30. In the video, the two teens are seen alongside eight other people leaving Boca Bash 2024.

The 15 and 16-year-old juveniles are facing criminal third-degree charges of causing pollution so as to harm or injure human health or welfare, animal, plant, aquatic life or property, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials, per NBCMiami. They could face five years in prison or fines of up to $50,000.

The teens were recorded dumping large garbage cans full of trash and bottles directly into the ocean as they headed back to the unofficial boating party, per FWC officials, reports NBC Miami.

“The illegal dumping of trash in our marine environment is a serious crime, and we worked closely with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office to determine appropriate charges,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto, per NBC Miami. “Callous disregard for Florida’s environment will not be tolerated. This is a teaching moment for all those involved — Florida’s natural resources are precious, and we should all do our part to protect them.”

Boca Raton inlet.

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On Tuesday, investigators arrived at the home of the boat owner, who revealed that his son was the 15-year-old involved.

Meanwhile, the 16-year-old’s father told investigators that due to the incident, his son was not attending school at Boca Raton High School. I have confirmed they are seeking legal counsel.

According to ABC affiliate WPBF, one of the families released a statement on Friday: “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 sincere 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.”

The statement continued: “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.”

Along with the teens’ families and the FWC, the Boca Bash shared a statement on Facebook, assuring followers that he assisted in identifying the boat owner and teens.

Boca Bash condemned the incident, noting they were “appalled” by the passengers’ “shameful” behavior. Boca Bash also said, “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 are also very clear that it is of utmost importance to hire a captain for your vessel if you are on the water enjoying drinks,” the statement continued. “We hope the repercussions handed down can be viewed publicly as a warning of how important our waters are to us native Floridians.”

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A representative for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for more information on Friday.