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Port Huron Float Down takes place amid safety concerns about annual unsanctioned event

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PORT HURON, Michigan — The annual Port Huron Float Down has taken place amid concerns about safety of the unsanctioned event.

People in tubes and on rafts hopped into the water Sunday at Lighthouse Beach in Port Huron, about 55 miles northeast of Detroit, to float 7.5 miles down the St. Clair River to Chrysler Beach in Marysville. Last year, a 19-year-old man drowned.

The U.S. Coast Guard established a temporary safety zone for the event and those under 18 were required to wear life jackets. Coast Guard officers and others worked to maintain safety, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Yaw said he wasn't aware of problems.

Shipping groups say the event puts participants in danger and hinders commercial operations. Float Down participants say the river is for everyone, not just commercial traffic.

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