A Canadian Coast Guard ship tows floatation devices used by U.S. partiers to the Canadian side of the St. Clair River between Michigan and Ontario on Aug. 21, 2016.
Canadian Coast Guard/Reuters
August 22, 2016 6:06 PM EDT

When a large group of Americans who were floating down a river that separates the U.S. from Canada were sent off course by extreme weather, it was up to our neighbor to the north to save them.

The Canadian Cost Guard said Monday that it embarked on a rescue effort for the group who were participating in the annual Port Huron Float Down on Sunday after heavy rains and winds sent them tumbling towards Canada without passports, Reuters reports.

Some 1,500 Americans were riding along the St. Clair River on Sunday, which separates Michigan from Ontario, Canada, when heavy rains and winds deflated many of their rafts and inner tubes, Reuters reports.

The Canadian Coast Guard said Monday that embarked on a rescue effort to save the group, rescuing many from the water and towing them to shore. Some were “terrified” to enter Canada without their passports and many were intoxicated, according to Peter Garapick, the superintendent of search and rescue for the coast guard.

After the rescue, the Americans were brought to Sarnia, Ontario, where they were bussed back to the U.S. using the city’s public transit, according to Reuters.

A Facebook page for the more than 30-year-old event posted online Sunday night, thanking the Canadians for their hospitality: “You’ve shown us true kindness and what it means to be amazing neighbors!”


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