Coast Guard: 20 people transported to hospital during Jobbie Nooner

Jobbie Nooner, Metro Detroit's early-summer rite of revelry, a daylong boat party on Lake St. Clair, got off to a festive start before storms rolled into the area over the weekend and 20 people were taken to area hospitals, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

It wasn't "just one thing, it was a number of things" that prompted the hospital visits, said Petty Officer Lauren Steenson, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

Rain clouds gather on the horizon and an intense rain storm would pass through during the late afternoon of Jobbie Nooner on Lake St. Clair, Friday.

Medical attention was requested for a variety of reasons: a severed finger, signs of hypothermia, a possible broken arm and an asthma attack that became a panic attack, according to the Coast Guard.

One person was pinned between two boats and thought they had broken their arm, while other thought they had broken their pelvis, said Lt. Junior Grade Justin Bommer of the U.S.C.G. Sector Detroit. Another person received medical attention after they were thrown from a boat and suffered cuts to the face.

In all, the medical response was typical for Jobbie Nooner, Boomer said.

“It’s unfortunate…” he said. “There are copious amounts of alcohol being consumed. People are going from boat to boat … We’re fortunate this year there weren’t more severe injuries, actually.”

Six people initially were reported missing but were found safe and returned to their parties, Boomer said.

Storms rolled through festivities at about 5 p.m., said National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Kacin. Visibility was reduced to a mile during the storms; at least one wind gust of 26 mph hit the area.

The annual party on and around Gull Island has been held every June since the mid-1970s. In the past, the party has attracted more than 10,000 boats and 100,000 people, police said. 

Macomb County Sheriff Sgt. Renee Yax said Friday, the launch of the boat party, that high water levels submerged the beach area on the island where partygoers typically would gather.

"They are stuck either on their boats or stuck in the water," Yax said.