Dragon Boat victory celebration dunks 20 rowers in the Cuyahoga River

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Celebrating their victory in a race at the Cleveland Dragon Boat Festival sent 20 rowers into the water at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Festival officials said the rowers’ shifting weight tilted and capsized the craft, which was not damaged.

All of the rowers were wearing life jackets, and none was injured. A Coast Guard rescue boat picked up three who didn’t stay with the boat, the Cleveland Harbor station reported. The others paddled their boat to shore.

The Coast Guard picked up two boaters an hour later in an incident that was not connected with either the Dragon Boat Festival or the Head of the Cuyahoga rowing regatta upriver.

Their boat stalled, hit a breakwall and started taking on water, the Coast Guard said. The boaters were picked up and the boat was towed.

Regatta officials said the only problem in their meet was a one-hour delay in the 8 a.m. start of races when a 615-foot freighter entered the river against a Coast Guard warning. The river was closed to all commercial traffic, and will be closed again Sunday for the U.S. Rowing Master’s National Head Race Championship.


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