PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Many local businesses are feeling the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak and some of those businesses sit at Captain Anderson’s Marina.
Captain Anderson’s Marina opened up on March 1st for the season, only to have things halted just 17 days later. The boats going to Shell Island shut down and many of their big boats are unable to take trips out because the minimum number of people needed for those trips are over the CDC guidelines.
“It feels like a hurricane without the bad weather,” Captain Anderson’s Marina Operations Manager Pam Anderson said.
It affected not only the Marina, but the 49 businesses that operate in it as well. The charter boats can take out smaller groups, but many trips have been cancelled because there are no tourists here currently.
“It will take a while for tourism to come back because that’s not gonna be the first thing on people’s minds,” Anderson said. “They’re going to be getting their children back in school, they’re going to be taking all their things home from work back to their offices.”
One of the many charters it’s affected is the Longshot. Captain Alicia Paul said she’s thankful she’s able to do some commercial trips during this time because that’s her only source of income right now.
“Typically during this time of year, we are all running twice a day right now, but as you can see we’re all tied up, so it’s drastically impairing us financially,” Paul said.
It’s a very strange situation for these captains who haven’t seen the marina like this before.
“As far as seeing all these boats tied up permanently as they are right now I’ve never witnessed that in my entire career and I’ve been right here fishing my entire life,” Paul said.
Captain Anderson’s Marina hopes to have things back up and running normally as soon as possible, but they are taking things day by day.