American 'floaters' rescued after they drifted to Canada

Strong Winds Land Michigan Water Event Participants Illegally In Canada

Around 1500 Americans floating on rafts on a U.S. river had to be rescued after strong winds blew them off course into Canadian territory.

The flotilla was part of Port Huron Float Down -- an annual event on the St. Clair River between Michigan and Ontario.

But the weather pushed wayward floaters into illegal waters, and the Canadian Coast Guard was dispatched to pluck them out.

"There were Americans everywhere," Peter Garapick of the Canadian Coast Guard told Canada's CBC News.

To make matters worse, no one had their passports or ID because they were in the water. Many were also drinking alcohol.

"They were terrified of entering another country without documentation," Peter Garapick, superintendent of search and rescue for the coast guard, told CBC News.

"We had to pull a lot of people out of the water and say 'no,'" Garapick said.

A floater yelled, "God bless Canada!" as he was being rescued, CBC News reports.

Some of the Americans offered to swim back to their homeland but they were rounded up and sent back on buses.

The Port Huron Float Down group posted on Facebook to thank their rescuers.

"We want to express our gratitude to the Canadian Authorities for their assistance and understanding with the floaters who've unintentionally been forced to the Canadian shoreline," the post said.

"You've shown us true kindness and what it means to be amazing neighbors!"

No one was charged or badly injured in the accidental floating incident.

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