‘Float Down’ scheduled for today, but officials warn against participation

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SARNIA, Ont. — An annual tubing party on the river that separates Sarnia, Ont., from Port Huron, Mich., is scheduled for today, but officials on both sides of the border are warning against participation.

The so-called Float Down, which is more than three decades old, sees thousands of people float on inner tubes and rafts down the St. Clair River.

The Canadian and U.S. coast guards say the event is always dangerous, but it’s even riskier during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They note that the border between the two nations remains closed, and it could be hard to maintain physical distancing on the open water.

And the RCMP warned that the consequences for crossing into Canada during the pandemic are substantial.

A spokeswoman says crossing the marine border into Canada for optional or discretionary purposes such as touring, sightseeing and recreational fishing may result in fines of up to $750,000 or imprisonment for up to six months.

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