Home Travel Iconic Key West Tourist Attraction Set On Fire

Iconic Key West Tourist Attraction Set On Fire

by SharonKurheg

Key West has been packed with tourists in recent months. Even before the pandemic, the southernmost island of the Florida Keys was host to over 2 million visitors per year. Of course, there’s little question why. It’s warm. It’s tropical. It’s chock full of bars and history and amazing restaurants. Oh, and don’t forget that low-key, open-minded vibe AND it’s got some of the greatest sunsets in the world!

Key West has bunches of tourist attractions. You can go deep sea fishing. Catch some air conditioning and nature at the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory. Watch that sunset from a boat (we recommend either this one or this one). Get your picture taken with the Southernmost Point buoy.

Unfortunately, during the wee hours of New Year’s Day, the massive, brightly painted buoy that marks the Southernmost Point was set on fire by vandals. According to footage taken from southernmostpointwebcam.com, 2 men lit what appeared to be a Christmas tree in front of the 4-ton cement monument that reads “90 miles to Cuba, Southernmost Point, Continental U.S.A.”

PC: https://southernmostpointwebcam.com archives

The fire was quickly put out by local firefighters. But not before the buoy sustained damage to its famous red, black and yellow paint.

PC: https://southernmostpointwebcam.com archives

By the next day, tourists were still taking photos of themselves with the buoy, damage notwithstanding.

PC: https://southernmostpointwebcam.com

Established as a Key West tourist attraction in 1983, this isn’t the first time the buoy has been damaged. Paint on the ocean side of the buoy peeled off in the wake of Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 hurricane, in 2017.

PC: https://i.imgur.com/hBZSyBJ.png via Reddit/r/pics

It was repainted about a month later.

No arrests have yet been made for the New Year’s Day overnight vandalism, but authorities say they’re seeking two White males suspects on charges of criminal mischief. If the value of the damage winds up exceeding $1,000, then the criminal mischief offense would be considered a third-degree felony in Florida. That would punishable by up to five years imprisonment as well as a fine of up to $5,000.

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