the north face stores Don’t participate in Float Down
The annual Port Huron Float Down is to take place Sunday on the St. Clair River. This remains an un sanctioned marine event and poses risks to the participants and other users of the waterways during the 7.5 mile /12 km course. The fast moving current, large number of participants, lack of lifejackets, alcohol consumption, potentially challenging weather conditions, water temperature, and limited rescue resources can create difficult emergency response scenarios that can result in serious injuries or fatalities.
The marine environment motion, sun, wind, spray accelerates the effects of alcohol consumption. Alcohol can also increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold water further impairing a person judgment, vision, and reaction time.
Water temperatures during recent Float Downs averaged in the high 60s degree F or 17 19 degrees C. Immersion in water below approximately 70 degrees F or 21 degrees C can lead to hypothermia that impairs physical performance and degrades a person ability to self help or swim. Early signs of hypothermia include shivering and loss of coordination and judgment.
In 2014, a 19 year old experienced swimmer drowned during the event. Coast Guard and local, state and federal partners including the Canadian Coast Guard mounted a significant search and rescue effort that was eventually suspended after 21 searches lasting more than 36 hours. border security and, often without identification, money and means of communication. Some had injuries and were suffering from hypothermia.
This is an inherently dangerous activity, especially for minors. Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard recommend that people do not take part in this event. Coast Guard/Canadian approved personal flotation device or life jacket at all times;
Bring waterproof bags for your personal items and identification;
File a Plan with someone not participating who can report your intentions to the Coast Guard in the event you do not check in at the scheduled time;
Never go alone. Use the buddy system, keep an eye on each other, and immediately report incidents of distress to the nearest first response agency representative;
Refrain from consuming alcohol;
Dress appropriately for the weather and cold water. Use a raft that limits your immersion in the water and can be controlled with oars or paddles; and
Stay near shore and remain out of the navigation channel. and Canadian coast guards, supported by a large number of federal, state, provincial, and local agencies, are highly trained professionals with limited resources; we embrace that responsibility, but we as other first responders cannot be everywhere. We rely on family members and all users of the marine environment to look out for one another, take care of themselves, wear lifejackets and not drink alcohol while on the water to improve the likelihood that they return home safely.