WATCH: Arrests made after event crew dump balloons into water

EDIT: this story was edited to note that it was two employees of the event company who took the balloons to the boat and subsequently popped and dumped them. It was the event company employees who were arrested.

A second person has been arrested, after a viral video captured people bursting balloons on a yacht and dumping them into Biscayne Bay, Florida.

Miami-Dade Police officials told local media on Friday 13 May that 26-year-old Martina Gaspoz had been arrested on a charge of willful disregard for the environment. David Torres-Bocanegra, 29, was previously arrested Wednesday, on a charge of reckless disregard for the environment.

The original video, recorded by yacht broker Esteban Bruna and first shared by MMG Outboard Division on Instagram, can be seen below. The footage, filmed on a mobile phone from a nearby boat in Bayshore Landing Marina, shows people popping a large display of balloons on the bow and throwing them directly into the water.

A total of 10 civil citations, totalling US$25,000, have also been issued to other members of the boating party, police said.

Tom Rivas, the man who reportedly rented the boat, recorded an Instagram video to state he had chartered the vessel so he could propose to his girlfriend. He added that he was unaware the balloons had been dumped in the bay.

“I want to put my heart out and say how important it is to protect our environment,” Rivas says.

In a media statement, Miami-Dade police director George A. Perez stated: “As a community, we share the responsibility to protect our environment. I am extremely proud of our Illegal Dumping Unit, for their thorough investigation and swift conclusion to this case.”

Balloons pose a serious risk to wildlife and can kill animals including turtles and seabirds. In 2012 the state of Florida passed a law making it illegal to intentionally release more than ten balloons in a 24-hour period anywhere in the state, with penalties ranging from US$250 to US$1,000 for each offence.

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