After about an hour, Gabrielle made it back across the river. She said others she saw weren’t as lucky.
Sarnia Police Service Staff Sgt. Scott Clarke said between 1,200 and 1,500 floaters landed in Sarnia.
It took 19 Sarnia Transit bus loads and six hours to return everyone back to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Clarke said.
"Most people were pretty well behaved and we did our best to get them back over and keep them warm and comfortable," said Lee Patterson, Sarnia Transit deputy director.
Clarke said Canadian Customs did not process the citizens, but left that for U.S. officials to do.
It was a bit of a nightmare but we got through it,” Clarke said. “There were long waits and long lines, (the floaters) were cold and wet, but they all made it home.