DNR, IUPD investigating large gathering on Lake Monroe


Photos and videos shared exclusively with FOX59

MONROE COUNTY, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Indiana University Police Department (IUPD) are looking into a video gaining a lot of buzz online of dozens of young people partying on a pontoon.

The video was taken Friday afternoon on Lake Monroe and it’s causing some concern due to the risk of COVID-19.

In the video you see three 34-foot double decker pontoons tied together and dozens of young people packed tight together on the lake.

Currently DNR and IUPD are investigating to see if any of the young adults on the boat are university students.

Online many people are concerned over the image since health officials are urging people not to do this.

Folks on the lake today have a different opinion.

“You can’t control what somebody else does so take control of what you can do, you should be fine,” Indiana resident Adrienne Fitzgerald said.

“Why does that affect you? What does it have to do with you? 9 times out of 10 people are made because they have no friends. You don’t have 2 or 3 boats to tie up so you can be buddies with,” Indiana Resident Ron Watts explained.

Health officials are worried activities like these could lead to a spike in positive COVID-19 cases like we saw on the 4th of July and Memorial Day.

Lake Monroe Boat Rental owns the boats seen in the video. An employee tells FOX59 News they don’t condone this kind of behavior and didn’t know they were going to do it.”

The employee said each pontoon is made to carry up to 24 people.

IU officials said if the investigation reveals students were on this boat there could be consequences for violating the university’s COVID-19 health directives, which includes unsafe large gatherings off-campus.

According to the university’s website they could face suspension or even expulsion.

DNR says moving forward there may be some changes in the way college students handle themselves when they come to Lake Monroe after this incident.

The employee of the boat company said the three people who rented the pontoons will never be able to do so again.

DNR hasn’t officially identified the people seen in the video but says IU students have always been known to rent boats on the lake.

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