1,500 American Floaters Rescued After Drifting Into Canada

The floaters were shipped back across the border under police escort.

— -- First responders in Canada had to provide emergency assistance on the St. Clair River this weekend, when officials said about 1,500 U.S. citizens were blown into Canadian territory.

The participants were taking part in Michigan’s annual Port Huron Float Down on Saturday, which saw them — many reportedly intoxicated — inadvertently end up in foreign waters.

“A burst of rain and high winds prompted hundreds of event participants to seek shelter ashore in Sarnia, where they were assisted by Canada Border Services Agency, Sarnia Police and the Canadian Red Cross,” Carol Launderville, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Coast Guard, told ABC News in an emailed statement.

She said that several vessels were involved in fishing the American floaters out of the river, which forms part of the U.S.-Canada border northeast of Detroit.

Speaking to CBC News, Peter Garapick of the Canadian Coast Guard said, “There were people in places you’d never think something would float, but there were Americans everywhere.”

“They were terrified of entering another country without documentation. No one carries their passport or any ID, and a lot were drinking alcohol,” he added.

Under police escort, the Americans were bused back to the U.S. side of the border, the local police department said on its Twitter feed.