Americans can enjoy the water this summer, but if you happen to float over the marine border into Canada, you'll face big fines and possibly even jail time.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police posted a message on Twitter reminding the public of enhanced travel restrictions during the pandemic ahead of the annual Port Huron Float Down. Officials said that those who happen to float over into Canadian waters during this time for non-essential purposes could face fines up to $750,000, and/or imprisonment for up to six months.
The #RCMP reminds the public that #COVID19 travel restrictions apply to crossing the marine border into Canada for non-essential purposes. Fines of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months may result. https://t.co/G0753SM9X9 #BorderIntegrity #FloatDown ^bh pic.twitter.com/EagVJ4wh76
— RCMP in Ontario (@RCMPONT) August 8, 2020
During this year’s Port Huron Float Down, our RCMP officers will be taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of participants and remind everyone to follow local COVID-19 guidelines such us maintaining social distancing. #FloatDown #BorderIntegrity #Covid19 ^bh pic.twitter.com/IbcTlBloxc
— RCMP in Ontario (@RCMPONT) August 10, 2020
"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," read a joint statement from the Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard. "In addition to these risks, the Canada/U.S. border also remains closed until at least August 21, 2020, due to COVID-19.
The statement adds that in 2016 during the Float Down, high winds caused 1,500 participants to drift over the marine border. Many of the floaters ended up stranded on the Canadian shoreline at Sarnia and Corunna "often without identification, money and means of communication. Some had injuries and were suffering from hypothermia," officials said.
RCMP reminds participants of the Port Huron #FloatDown of the dangers involved; unpredictable weather, exposure & potential for drowning or injury – on top of the current #Covid19 situation. Know the risks: https://t.co/ANroSKAAzC #BorderIntegrity ^bh pic.twitter.com/7wMhtvS7jH
— RCMP in Ontario (@RCMPONT) August 11, 2020