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Water | Environment | Ecotrope

A New Record: 620 People Float In A Line On The Willamette River

Floating hand in hand, 620 people formed a U-shaped line on the Willamette River in downtown Portland Friday morning.

They unofficially set a new world record, topping the 542 people who floated in a line in Viareggio, Italy in 2008.

“The bar has been raised,” said organizer Will Levenson, who estimated the human chain would have stretched about a half-mile if the group had formed a single-file line. “Ultimately, it’s a really fun, artful statement. What a great way to express that we love our river.”

Today’s tally will have to be verified by Guinness World Records before it becomes official.

The water was a balmy 72 degrees, and helicopter drones flew overhead to document the occasion. Portland start-up GigaPan created a high-resolution panoramic picture of the floating line that allows participants to zoom in and tag themselves.

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