Shipwreck Island to reopen Saturday

Shipwreck Island is ready for visitors to make a splash once again. The local water park will open for the season this weekend. (WJHG/WECP)
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Panama City Beach, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Shipwreck Island is back in business! Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis approved the park’s safety plan to operate during the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s about handwashing. We got brand new sinks going in that are going to be outside of the park have you watched her hands. Also at all the food and beverage outlet,” the park's General Manager Buddy Wilkes said.

Wilkes said they're putting up signs and making other preparations to keep everyone safe while they’re having fun at the park.

“As you can see behind me here, we’ve put up 90 signs. We’ve got a number of different ways and do the distance spacing. Everything from tables and chairs to the attraction themselves,” Wilkes said.

Wilkes said the waterpark's staff will also follow social distancing guidelines, and certain staff like those working with food will wear masks and gloves.

He said they have around three parts per million(ppm) of chlorinated water, which is twice as much as the state of Florida requires as a minimum and three times what the CDC requires.

“It won’t hurt you, but we might change the color of your bathing suit. Chlorine water is a very good thing, and the CDC said the virus is inactivated in properly chlorinated water,” Wilkes said.

Wilkes says they have many safety measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but the plan doesn’t work without the public's help.

“We think it’s a very comprehensive and detailed plan. We just need all of our guests that are coming in the park to really partner with us on achieving that goal,” Wilkes said.

Wilkes said they have 15 acres of land at the park in the past four decades. They’ve rarely reached maximum capacity. He said they’re expecting a normal turnout and will work to keep everyone at a safe distance from each other.

The waterpark is set to open this Saturday at 10 a.m.
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