The Canadian coastguard was called in to assist 1500 Americans that had accidentally crossed the border between the two countries after their rafts and inflatable rings had drifted due to strong winds.
The boaters were taking part in the Port Huron Float Down last weekend, an annual event and popular tradition that sees participants floating eight miles down the St. Clair River which divides Michigan state and Ontario. However, a burst of rain and high winds led to many participants drifting off course and disembarking to seek shelter ashore in Sarnia, where they were assisted by the Canada Border Services Agency, Sarnia Police and the Canadian Red Cross.
Crew members aboard several Canadian Coast Guard fast rescue crafts helped with lifting people out of the water throughout the day when their rafts deflated.
While the event has no official organiser, a website linked to the Float Down has a list of suggestions for anyone thinking of taking part. They include oars and paddles to ensure that floaters can keep control of their vessels, whistles, sunscreen and two-way radios in case of emergency.
It has been crazy busy. Thank you Sarnia Transit. Also thank you Esso & Lanxess. Couldn’t have done it without you. pic.twitter.com/a47hmm92QS
— Sarnia Police (@SarniaPolice) August 21, 2016
No injuries or missing persons were reported from the incident, although it took many hours and 19 buses to transport the cold and wet adventurists back to Michigan.