(WXYZ) — Thousands of boaters gathered out on Lake St. Clair on Friday for Jobbie Nooner. The annual party was started way back in 1974 by autoworkers. All these decades later it has become one of the top 10 boat parties in the nation.
Several police agencies were the event including St. Clair County Sheriff Marine Division, Macomb County Marine Division, US Coast Guard, US Border Patrol, Michigan DNR, Clay Township Police and Fire and Algonac Fire.
Boaters are already getting out on the water this morning. Jason Luce from Dansville says he and his family will take some extra precautions today, but they didn't want to miss it @wxyzdetroit #JobbieNooner pic.twitter.com/qmMV3vH02I— Jenn Schanz (@JennSchanzWXYZ) June 26, 2020
St. Clair County will be the lead agency. Sgt. Marty Stoyan is with the Marine Division and he tells 7 Action News, “Our personnel are going to have PPE when dealing with the public.”
An East Lansing bar that opened on June 12 became a hotspot for young adult. Some said the place was out of control. 34 people have tested positive.
Beaches and other hotspots in southern states are seeing a new surge in numbers.
Can Jobbie Nooner turn into a super spreader?
Sgt. Stoyan says, “I for sure see that this is a very big possibility of spreading the COVID.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also tells 7 Action News, “Dropping our guard now means that we will very likely increase the spread in Michigan.”
During Jobbie Nooner, boaters raft-off, tie up together, people move from boat to boat, swim, drink and party on and around Gull Island.
Will law enforcement include social distancing?
Sgt. Stoyan says, “We’re not going to be able to enforce social distancing due to the fact of a large amount of people.”
And trying to stop the event is tricky. There’s no one person to hit with a stop order.
Sgt. Stoyan says, “It’s a non-sanctioned event. There’s nobody that’s actually taking responsibility for having ‘Jobbie Nooner’ So, it’s, ah, there’s no way to stop it.”
Governor Whitmer adds, “Where we have community spread, we may have to take steps backward.”
Meaning moving back to lockdowns.
Patrols will be watching for drunk driving and reckless driving among boaters. They also say they’ll be watching for storms that could hit late in the day. Some hit last year and it was a mess.