US Coast Guard issues warning to Red Bull, Portland Spirit after - KPTV - FOX 12

US Coast Guard issues warning to Red Bull, Portland Spirit after 2015 Flugtag incident

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The U.S. Coast Guard recently issued a warning to both Red Bull North America and the master of the Portland Spirit after it concluded its investigation of the near collision incident in August 2015.

The Coast Guard said both parties involved received a letter of warning for failure to act to avoid a collision.

On August 1, 2015 at least 500 boats and other water crafts showed up to watch the Red Bull Flugtag event on the Willamette River.

Event organizers said only about 100 spectator boats were expected.

The boats crowded the channel and blocked the path of several ships including the Portland Spirit.

Both Red Bull and the Coast Guard said they tried for hours to get people to clear the channel.

Witnesses said later that day the Portland Spirit continued on course and plowed through the crowd of spectators, coming dangerously close to hitting several people.  

Portland Spirit officials blame Red Bull for the incident and the U.S. Coast Guard said it was Red Bull’s responsibility to keep the channel clear.

“A clear channel is important for both commerce and emergency vessels to have access. Red Bull made the choice not to do their job,” Portland Spirit President Daniel Yates said after the incident.

Coast Guard officials said Monday the master of the Portland Spirit declined the letter of warning.  The Coast Guard said if they prove their allegations against the master, they will suspend his license.

The Coast Guard has not received a reply for Red Bull.

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