‘Float down’ turns into ‘melt down’

'What could possibly go wrong?' turns into a question of wind and strong river current heading to Canada

Happier moments on the St. Clair River. Photo by Edward Allen.
Happier moments on the St. Clair River. Photo by Edward Allen.

Let’s call it a misadventure. Or bad planning. Or, well, let’s leave it at that.

About 1,500 of the American participants in Sunday’s “Port Huron Float Down,” who had already defied warnings on both sides of the border, ended up being rescued by a number of Canadian agencies, including the Coast Guard and Sarnia Police.

Perhaps not surprisingly, a good number of those rescued were not wearing a personal flotation device, which is recommended by authorities.

The event, which has been held annually (this year was said to be the 39th) on the third Sunday of August, began just before 1 p.m., with floaters leaving from Lighthouse Beach, just north of the Blue Water Bridge. It was to end in Marysville, Mich.

Around 4 p.m., Sarnia Police say they began receiving calls from people needing assistance. Rescuers included representatives of the Ontario Provincial Police, RCMP, Lambton EMS, Canadian Red Cross, and fire personnel from various plants that border the St. Clair River.

Those rescued were transported back to the American side of the border by buses provided by Sarnia Transit. Sarnia Police said only minor injuries were reported.

The incident “made the news” via Reuters, which can be seen HERE.

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  • TsiTenha

    US Coast Guard is supposed to shut down stunts like this.

    Please keep drunk, gun toting, arrogant USers at home.
    Thank you.

  • Joe Hasper

    Careful now… That little lady in front can put your eye out at 300yd with iron sights. She’s earned her right to float down any fucking body of water on the continent!

  • Joe Hasper

    Oh, also… If we all stayed at home, you damn Canucks would have no fucking economy at all, fuckstick!

  • Timshel54

    Oh please. As a Canadian I watched the whole event from my perch at the BW bridge. It looked like light hearted fun to me. Yup, some things in life are risky…that’s the way it goes. But this event looked a lot less life threatening, let’s say, than biking down Exmouth street in the afternoon.
    Good on the participants I say.