Shipwreck Island postpones opening day

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) Shipwreck Island in Panama City Beach is one of the many businesses making adjustments amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The water park had plans to open the season in mid-April, but concerns over spread of the virus caused management to postpone the opening to a later date.

Shipwreck Island water park is taking precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (WJHG)

"When you're in the water park business, safety is your first concern, so safety is going to be our first concern about our employees and also the people who are coming through our gate," said Shipwreck Island General Manager Buddy Wilkes.

Some safety measures the park plans to put in place start with season pass holders. Instead of standing in line for the passes, the park is looking to have guests receive them via a drive-thru service. Management also will be enforcing social distancing in lines once the park is open and hiring extra hands for cleaning.

"We're going to be really clean and really sanitized, so we have got plans to handle, and we are just ready to put everything in place and open it up," said Wilkes.

Shipwreck Island is hoping they will be open by at least Memorial Day, but no actual date has been set. They are relying on medical professionals to give them the go ahead to welcome guests back.

"As soon as it's safe, and as soon as we get an 'all clear' we are going to be here and we are going to be that escape that we were here for after Hurricane Michael and hopefully we can bring some fun and some smiles and some good times back into the families in this community," said Wilkes.

Along with a postponed open, the park also had to cancel lifeguard training courses. The Red Cross has given a 90-day extension to those already certified, so they will have the entire summer to renew lifeguarding certificates.

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