1500 Partying Americans Ended Up In Canada by Accident

Every year in Port Huron, Michigan, thousands of people get on their inflatable floating things and float their way down the St. Clair River to Chrysler Beach. It's a fun day on the water that has been happening since the 1980's.

Recommended supplies are:

  • Oars
  • A cooler
  • Sunblock
  • Garbage bags
  • Rope
  • Whistles
  • Radios

Things that are not on that list but probably should have been this year:

  • Your passport

The Float Down started around 1pm, but by 4pm Sarnia Police started getting numerous calls from floaters requesting assistance on the St. Clair River. Apparently it was a little more windy than anticipated for the Float Down and things got a little out of hand. About 1500 Americans ended up on the Canadian side of the border, with no ID (or real clothing for that matter.) When you're stranded in another country, your rope and whistles aren't really that much help.

It took 19 Sarnia Transit buses and about 6 hours to get everyone back through US Customs. According to customs officials, "it was a bit of a nightmare, but we got through it. There were long waits and long lines, they were cold and wet, but they all made it home."

Luckily no one was seriously injured, just a few bumps and bruises. There were also arrests made during the border breach. The U.S. Coast Guard has made many attempts to work with Port Huron to make this a sanctioned event, but there's still a lot of kinks to be worked out. No one really wants to be held responsible for all the safety issues involved.

As for next year, the Coast Guard says they will still help with whatever is necessary, mainly stopping vessel traffic to that area. Might we also suggest something akin to the lane barriers at the bowling alley? That might prevent this mass migration in the future.

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