A file photo of drinks at a bar. (Feb. 19,...

A file photo of drinks at a bar. (Feb. 19, 2010) Credit: David Pokress

A firestorm of complaints has threatened to undermine a Fire Island pub crawl scheduled for Saturday, causing two Ocean Beach bars to withdraw from the event.

More than 50 people have signed up for the first Fire Island Kings Krawl, hosted by West Islip-based Three Kings Catering. According to the event website, revelers are to depart from Bay Shore on the ferry Saturday afternoon about 1 p.m., "jump from beach to beach," sampling bars from Kismet to Ocean Bay Park, and return Saturday night.

But members of the Fire Island Association civic group, fearing the ferry would bring drunkenness and debauchery to their communities, launched an effort to keep the event from coming to their docks.

Ocean Beach village officials railed against the idea, and community members sent several emails to Three Kings Catering, some describing the event as "unconscionable."

"If people are outrageous or become intoxicated, they're not going to let them back on a boat, which means they could be stranded, causing more disruption," said John Lund, a member of the Fire Island Association.

Ocean Beach clerk-treasurer Steven Brautigam said Mayor James Mallott spoke this week with the owners of Castaway Bar and Grill and Houser's Bar, and both agreed to withdraw as hosts at the tail end of the pub crawl. A manager at Castaway and the owners of Houser's confirmed they had pulled out from the event, but did not want to comment further.

Michael Knapp, a partner in Three Kings Catering, said the pub crawl is not about drinking in excess. And with tickets at $75, the event is geared toward more mature groups, he said.

"This is not all about drinking," Knapp said. "This is more of a meet-and-greet, Fire Island networking event." He said anyone who seemed intoxicated would be sent home on a water taxi, and that security guards would accompany the group.

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