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Boaters, revelers flock to Jobbie Nooner

Evan Carter, and Candice Williams

Loud music, bikinis and lots of beer were on tap Friday as boaters gathered at Gull Island for the annual Jobbie Nooner, which by late evening produced two arrests and a lower-than-usual few minor medical calls, according to St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office.

As they have for decades, thousands of partygoers traveled to a manmade dot of land near the U.S.-Canadian border for the party that kicks off the summer boating season in southeastern Michigan.

One arrest Friday was for drunk boating, said Lt. Paul Reid of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department. He said he did not know the nature of the second arrest, which was handled by Clay Township.

“We have a number of missing persons wandering around,” Reid said. “They’re intoxicated, and they got off a white boat. Everybody has a white boat.”

Medical calls are lower than last year, Reid said. Most calls are for cuts and abrasions from partygoers stepping on something in the water, he said.

As of 7:30 p.m., about 75 percent of the boats had departed the island. Many of the remaining crafts will remain to spend the night.

“For some people, they’re being responsible to not drive home drunk,” he said.

Lt. John Michalke of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office said a majority of the partygoers are from Macomb County. His department had four boats in the water to monitor the boaters.

The Jobbie Nooner began in the 1980s when auto industry workers — who referred to themselves as “jobbies” — would pick a Friday and take off work at noon to party at the island. Originally a family event, the bash has grown over the years, attracting thousands of partygoers.