Boat businesses trying to stay afloat amid the pandemic at the Jersey Shore

OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- With temperatures expected to soar this weekend, you might be considering heading to the shore to find some relief, and that is why businesses are working double-time to make sure any activity on the water is safe, during the pandemic.

"It's pretty tough especially when you are so limited, like we're Memorial Day through September," said Mary Coppolino, the owner of Ocean City Fishing Center, "That's our season, that's it, then we shut down."

Crews are scrubbing and wiping after every boat trip at Ocean City Fishing Center, but many are still on edge about making the jump to get on a boat.

"We did have people cancel their full parties, like events that they booked on the big boat they were canceling," said Coppolino. What's keeping Coppolino's business afloat are pontoon boats for families, because the bigger fishing boats are running on a limited capacity per the governor's orders, and because not as many people want to make the trip. "We had a group that they were nervous, and they thought they were going to be by themselves on the boat, and they didn't want to take the chance and be around other people," said Coppolino. The dock manager at Wet N' Wild Jet Ski and Wave Runners said business has been able to ride the wave this summer, because hopping on a jet ski is a solo activity, for the most part. "People get a good sense of normalcy after dealing with all the craziness in town," said James Schwab, the dock manager at Wet N' Wild," adding "Trying to go to a restaurant right now is a lot harder than coming here, so it's been pretty good for us." Crews have been sanitizing jackets and shorts after each use, and masks are required on property which not everyone has liked. "Unfortunately they're not expecting to wear them out back when we're getting them on the wave runner," said Schwab. However, people are complying with the rules on property, until they can take their masks off while on the wave runners. "We probably wouldn't be wearing it because we're family and we've been together since the shut down, but we're only wearing it cause it's required," said Becky Maicher, from Birdsboro, Pennsylvania.
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