MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A boat parade in support of President Donald Trump Saturday on the St. Croix River left more than one homeowner contending with property damage.
Keith Smith lives on the river in River Falls, Wisconsin.
“The river was flooded with boats,” Smith said. “Big boats, small boats, all kinds of boats.”
The powerful display of a few hundred boats had some people watching from their docks very impressed, like Trump supporter Ron Claxton.
“It was awesome. It couldn’t have been a better scene to have all those supporters of Trump out there,” Claxton said.
Smith didn’t have time to ogle the spectacle.
“The waves were probably four to five footers pounding my boat into the dock,” Smith said.
The whip holding his docked boat in place snapped, and he says he fought violently for an hour and a half to keep it from sinking.
“Boaters all know they’re responsible for their waves, but nobody cared,” Smith said. “They just kept going and going and hooting and hollering. Luckily I didn’t slip and go off the side of the dock.”
One of Keith’s neighbors wasn’t as fortunate, and did lose his boat.
“There was so much wake from the boats that it actually lifted my dock up three or four feet, and the waves came underneath my floating dock,” he said. “The waves overwhelmed the boat.”
The neighbor says he’s never seen so much water traffic in his backyard. Both property owners say they have no problem with Trump supporters showing out for their candidate. Their issue is with the disregard for boating laws and etiquette.
“It’s not anything political,” Smith said. “Boaters know the laws and the rules, and I don’t understand why they wouldn’t follow them and help their fellow boater.”
Claxton sympathized with the men. His dock was luckily spared.
“There were a lot of large, large boats, and just with the sheer volume, I can understand that,” Claxton said.
The homeowner who’s boat sank says he has insurance, and he plans to attend a boat show as soon as he can to look for a replacement.