Man crossed river to avoid ‘bank charges’

Posted on February 25, 2007 

Man crossed river to avoid ‘bank charges’

A Canadian rescued from a rubber raft in near-zero conditions told rescuers he was paddling to the US to avoid bank charges.

Wayne Kingwell, 40, ended up spending five hours on the Niagara River before he was rescued, reports Buffalo News.

US Attorney Terrance P Flynn said investigators were trying to determine the validity of the bizarre explanation he gave.

He claimed he regularly crosses from his home in Fort Erie, Ontario, to Buffalo – using a small aluminum boat or the raft – to do his banking.

“He said he was coming across the river to pay off the balance of his credit card,” Flynn said.

Kingwell claimed he was charged an $85 fee if he mails the payment, so he crosses the river each month instead.

There is a bridge – but Mr Kingwell claimed he was not allowed to use it because of a legal dispute with the Canadian government.

When he was rescued, authorities said, Kingwell was carrying more than $3,000 cash – enough to pay off a credit card bill that he really does owe.

Border Patrol spokesman Michael Przybyl said: “I was surprised that he’d try this on one of the coldest days of the year.

“It’s not the first time that this has happened. We’ve had attempted entries in the middle of winter. But this is the coldest that I can remember someone trying to cross on the water.”

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from Ananova

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