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#281803 - 08/23/16 07:59 PM Port Huron Float Down
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 900
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
I haven't seen this covered in US media http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/23/us/canada-float-down-trnd/index.html Apparently roughly 1500 Americans take it upon themselves to float down the St. Clair River on the border. It seems that they have been doing this for several years and EVERY year they require rescuing because of the irresponsibility of the participants. Most of them are inebriated and use any basic thing that can float and most have no paddles or method of controlling the movement of their flotation device. The river is used a major transportation route for Great Lakes tankers as well.

Apparently they even brought coolers of beverages and floated down on wood picnic tables! Winds were consistently blowing at 10-15 knots and gusting up to 27 knots. That's sustained winds of about 20 km/h and gusts of 50 km/h. There is no way the would NOT have ended up in Canada as no self-propelled watercraft could combat those conditions. "The people who take part in this are not mariners," Garapick said. "They don't look at the wind, the weather and the waves. We knew from the get-go, the winds were going to cause a problem. There's no question they were involuntarily coming to Canada."


Because of the sheer number of floaters who ended up in Canada this year, the City of Sarnia is debating how to handle this issue in the future. Assuming Darwin doesn't take care of these idiots, my suggestion to the Mayor would be to stop being so Canadian "nice" and hold them until they pay the rescue costs. This isn't a one-time event, it happens every year and these jokers need to be responsible for their actions. The American authorities take no responsibility either - they should be policing their own citizens and preventing their inebriated behaviour. The last time I checked, drinking while operating a watercraft carried the same penalty as DUI.

Edited by Roarmeister (08/23/16 08:02 PM)
Edit Reason: Added link

#281809 - 08/24/16 12:33 AM Re: Port Huron Float Down [Re: Roarmeister]
Doug_Ritter Offline


Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1969
You can't fix stupid...or drunk... :-(

As for "he last time I checked, drinking while operating a watercraft carried the same penalty as DUI."I think one could argue they aren't "operating" it, sad to say. :-)
Doug Ritter
Equipped To SurviveŽ
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation

#281810 - 08/24/16 02:03 AM Re: Port Huron Float Down [Re: Roarmeister]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3074
Loc: USA
You'll hear no argument from me. Lock 'em up and charge them appropriately. Don't let them go until they pay up and settle any criminal liability they incur.

#281811 - 08/24/16 02:45 AM Re: Port Huron Float Down [Re: Roarmeister]
Teslinhiker Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1386
Originally Posted By: Roarmeister
The American authorities take no responsibility either - they should be policing their own citizens and preventing their inebriated behaviour. The last time I checked, drinking while operating a watercraft carried the same penalty as DUI.

In Canada, drinking while operating a watercraft does follow under the Criminal Code of Canada. However the Transportation Act of Canada excludes recreational inflatable devices (which most of those people were using) such as air mattresses, inner tubes, belly boats etc from their definition of Pleasure Craft (aka watercraft.) This effectively negates the DUI aspect in this case. Still, I am sure that other creative fines could be levied if LE on both sides of the border really wanted to make an example of some of these idiots.
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

#281812 - 08/24/16 03:09 AM Re: Port Huron Float Down [Re: Teslinhiker]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5063
How about charging the adult as contributing to the delinquency of his inner child. wink

#281813 - 08/24/16 12:31 PM Re: Port Huron Float Down [Re: Roarmeister]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
"Get off my lawn!" seems a little harsh, but I can't imagine that US Customs or Homeland Security would be very welcoming if Canadian citizens had done the same thing and landed on their shores. Perhaps we should double down, show no mercy, and use those criminals as examples for other would be border hoppers. Cover 'em all in maple syrup and beaver fur and hang them from the Birch trees as a warning! We simply can't have a flood of illegal American aliens invading us at will.

If this is an annual and predictable event, maybe the Canadian and US border authorities should partner to get on-board and charge landing and transportation fees as part of the event registration fee, and maybe turn it into a charity event.

I'm sure that most of us at ETS understand that entering another country is a big deal, especially if you're landing illegally. On the other hand, Canada does have a family-like relationship with the US.

My husband's family hails from the shores of the St. Lawrence River in the 1,000 Islands area, where you can almost see the colour of the eyes of the Americans on the other side of the river. They fondly cling to the old days when crossing that border was no big deal. In fact, my Snowbird Mother-in-Law said to me a few years ago, as I expressed concerns about my children joining them on a vacation South of the border:

"Your problem is that you keep thinking of it (a.k.a. The States) as a different country."

Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

#281819 - 08/24/16 02:37 PM Re: Port Huron Float Down [Re: Roarmeister]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2814
Loc: La-USA
This is why the Canadian Coast Guard and US Coast Guard operate fleets of icebreakers in the Great Lakes: to keep the Canadian Hoardes north of the border and to keep the American Hoardes south of the border during the frozen months.

We do encourage the Canadian deer, moose, and elk to seek "political asylum" in the USA.... Yum!
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#281841 - 08/25/16 11:58 PM Re: Port Huron Float Down [Re: bacpacjac]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 853
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
"Get off my lawn!" seems a little harsh...

I don't know. I mean sticking a Garand in somebodies face is a little overkill. But, I'm thinking that the swift and immediate application of a size 12 Sorel to the drunkards swimsuit clad nether regions might provide the necessary discouragement against next years flotilla.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane


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