Teenager apologises for ocean dumping
A teenager caught on camera throwing bags of trash into the ocean at a weekend raft-up has apologised and promised to clean the area with a group of friends.
Jonathan Hodgkins, 19, was filmed throwing two bags into Mangrove Bay last Sunday.
He admitted yesterday that he “had to force myself to watch the video” that appeared on social media after the incident.
He said: “I can’t watch it again, as I’m too ashamed.”
The teenager said he was fined $200 for littering.
He also attended environmental charity Keep Bermuda Beautiful yesterday to meet Anne Hyde, the executive director, to organise a cleanup this weekend.
The trash was dumped while Mr Hodgkins and his friends were on board his family’s boat, Sin Bin, which his father had left anchored among other revellers at the close of the long weekend.
A three-minute video taken from a nearby boat showed him tossing two bags of trash overboard, which caused shouts of protest from others at the event.
Mr Hodgkins said he acted in panic after a fight from a neighbouring vessel spread on to his boat, with bottles thrown and glass broken.
He added: “At the start, it was a bunch of people I knew, but other people started to pile on. I’d never had that many people on the boat and it was pretty crazy.
“There were people sinking the other boat next to us. They wouldn’t leave it. A scuffle escalated into a full-on fight.”
Mr Hodgkins said he did not remember what came next “because of the moment itself and the adrenalin”.
He added: “I just wasn’t thinking at all. People were filming because of the fight. That carried on to my boat, and that’s when the madness started.
“I chucked the glass and the bags overboard. I was trying to get stuff off the boat. There was broken glass and blood.”
He added that he realised what he had done was wrong.
Mr Hodgkins said: “I feel terrible. It’s one of the worst feelings.”
Ms Hyde took the opportunity to educate the teenager about the environment.
Mr Hodgkins said: “She educated me and opened my eyes to how much damage we do to the ocean.
“She showed me things found in the ocean and that animals have eaten. I live on the water — it’s my favourite thing in the world.”
The cleanup, which will start at 2pm on Sunday, is still being organised, but Mr Hodgkins said his friends had volunteered to help clean from King’s Point in Somerset to Mangrove Bay.
Mr Hodgkins said: “We’re going to take the same boat up there. KBB is supplying trash bags, which is really generous, and we will have three sets of people — divers, snorkellers and people who will walk and help pick up trash.”
Mr Hodgkins added he wanted to “raise awareness and make a promotional video for KBB”.
Ms Hyde said: “We are pleased to see that he is eager to do community service via an ocean cleanup and we look forward to that happening on Sunday.”