USCG stops Red Bull Flugtag event after boaters block waterway - KPTV - FOX 12

USCG stops Red Bull Flugtag event after boaters block waterway

Posted: Updated: Aug 01, 2015 11:53 PM

Thousands of spectators who flocked to the 2015 Red Bull Flugtag event at Tom McCall Park in Portland Saturday had to either pack up or turn around, after the U.S. Coast Guard shut the event down early after boaters blocked the waterways.

The competition was about halfway through around 3 p.m. when Red Bull announced the event was canceled for the day.

"They said safety’s our number one priority and we’re gonna cancel the event," event attendee Steve Mallard explained. 

Boaters were warned multiple times to clear the waterways.

"They kept saying, 'Clear the channel, the Coast Guard's telling us to clear the channel, you gotta move, clear the channel,'" Mallard said. 

When viewers didn't heed the warning, everyone watching saw the outcome.

"There was a long pause, a big break because there was a float every five to ten minutes, and then we went on 30 minutes and we're like, 'What's going on,'" Mallard said.

The USCG said commercial traffic, including The Spirit of Portland, could not get through the water way safely, interrupting the cruise's service at one point.

"Too bad that the guys on the boats just had to ruin it for everyone," said Mallard.

Folks who flew in for the event were also disappointed.

"We flew all the way up from San Diego Friday night, and this was our first event so we were kind of bummed about that," said Alex Jesme.

Others at the event like Morgan Lamb didn't blame the boaters given the nearly triple digit temps.

"Its upsetting, but I know if I had a boat, I'd be out there, too, so I can’t blame anyone. It was pretty hot today."

The Coast Guard said it was Red Bull's responsibility to keep those in the water safe and the waterways clear. Portland Fire Bureau confirmed there were no injuries involving Saturday's event.

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