The story goes like this:

1. Red Bull held an event where people-powered airplane-type contraptions flew off a big ramp into the Willamette. Thousands showed up to watch, including a few hundred people on small boats.

2. The Portland Spirit, a boat that takes families on little cruises of the Willamette, tried to take its normal route back to the spot where it docks next to the Hawthorne Bridge. It could not because people on smaller boats were lined up to watch the Flugtag. The Spirit forced its way through—video below.

3. The Portland Spirit called the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard—surely everyone in the city's favorite branch of the service after it chased kayakers off the river to allow Shell's icebreaker to pass through so it can drill for oil in the Arctic—pulled Red Bull's permit and shut down the event. That happened before some of the people who had spent thousands of hours building their contraptions and traveled across the country could fly them.

4. Everyone gets to argue about it on Facebook. Should the Spirit have just gone around to the lightly trafficked eastern side of the bridge? Do small boats need to move so a larger boat can come through? Did the Portland Spirit's captain act appropriately when pushing through the crowd?

5. You get to watch the video and form your own opinion. Choice quotes include "Are you kidding? HOLY SHIT!" "He's plowing right into him!?" "What are you doing?!" "No freakin' way!" and "Are you going to fucking kill people!"

(No one was killed.)


UPDATE: Portland Spirit President Dan Yates says the Spirit could not go around to the other side of the river because its too shallow on the eastern side of the Willamette and not part of the approved navigation channel. He also says the Coast Guard made the decision to cancel Red Bull's permit without any input from the Spirit. "I know it was a fun event, I'm sorry for the teams that didn't get to compete," he said.