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Drunken Canadian swims across Detroit River

michigan international rescue night of drinking dangerous current shipping channel fine

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#1 Hum

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 16:56

A Canadian man who wanted to prove he could swim across the Detroit River to the United States after a night of drinking prompted an international rescue operation late Monday.

John Morillo, 47, of Windsor, Ontario, told The Windsor Star that the swim from his hometown to Detroit was “really stupid” and realizes in retrospect it should never have happened.

"I was drinking, but I wasn't really drunk," Morillo told the newspaper on Tuesday. "The thing is, I've been telling people I'm going to swim across the river for years and they're like 'yah, yah, blah, blah, you can't make it.' So, I don't know, last night I just decided it was the time to go."

Morillo was cited for public intoxication and was released from jail on Tuesday. He said he regretted causing problems for Canadian and U.S. authorities. Three boats and a helicopter reportedly responded to rescue Morillo from the dangerous river’s current.

"As soon I saw the helicopters going by and the boats looking for me, I was like 'oh, this is really stupid,'" Morillo told The Windsor Star.

Police in Windsor initially responded around 11:30 p.m., when a neighbor of Morillo called to say she had lost sight of him about a half-hour earlier. Morillo ultimately made it across to Detroit, getting out of the water near downtown's Renaissance Center. He was swimming back to Canada when he was spotted at about 1 a.m. Tuesday by the U.S. Coast Guard. While on the Detroit side of the river, Morillo said people wanted to take his picture.

"There was one woman, she said she was from Windsor and she thought I was crazy," he said. “She was right."

Morillo said authorities told him he'll also likely be fined for swimming in a shipping channel, which could be $5,000 to $25,000.

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#2 Growled

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 02:20

I bet he'll never say he's going to swim across the river ever again. 



#3 DocM

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:10

He's lucky to have lived through it - there's some wicked currents in that patch.

#4 +zhiVago

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 05:31

If he made it to the other side, he could have been charged with the illegal state border crossing...



#5 DocM

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 08:57

He did. He got caught on the return leg and got picked up by the US authorities. He now faces multiple US charges with fines from $5k to $25k.

#6 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:12

Is there a no swimming sign? If not, how can they fine him?

#7 Growled

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 13:37

He did. He got caught on the return leg and got picked up by the US authorities. He now faces multiple US charges with fines from $5k to $25k.

If they aren't to charge him more than that they just need to drop the charges. :D



#8 XerXis

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 13:40

Is there a no swimming sign? If not, how can they fine him?

swimming in shipping lanes without permission and a boat following you that has a radio is always forbidden



#9 Kriz

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 13:57

Is there a no swimming sign? If not, how can they fine him?

I think it was more to do with the fact its a shipping channel, that itself obviously carries its own laws.

 

Fair play to the guy for trying though :D



#10 DocM

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 14:21

Is there a no swimming sign? If not, how can they fine him?


Controlled shipping channel; crossing at night without navigation lights, international border crossing while evading US Customs, impaired in a public place etc. etc. I'm sure the alphabet soup agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard who picked him up, could come up with more. Reimbursement for the rescue response, including a US Coast Guard chopper, is an issue too.

#11 LaP

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 14:26

That's a fellow canadian there.

Drunk with guts.

#12 OP Hum

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 17:08

If he had swum the Rio Grande, there would be no problem.  :laugh: 



#13 +warwagon

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 17:12

I don't know what's looks more funny

 

1) what he attempted to do

2) That he still looks drunk i that photo

3) His shirt!



#14 Sandor

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 17:13

Nice t-shirt...



#15 McKay

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 17:20

Morillo was cited for public intoxication

 

It's illegal to be drunk in public? How do you get back home from the Bar?