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May 22, 2011 7:07 PM by Matt Stafford

Odd punishment for illegal rafters

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A northeast Ohio couple found themselves up to their ankles in trouble for rafting on a flood-swollen river without life preservers and lying about it afterward.

A judge sentenced them to stand in a tiny swimming pool while wearing life jackets and handing out water safety brochures Saturday at a festival in Painesville, 30 miles northeast of Cleveland.

Twenty-year-old Grace Nash and 22-year-old Bruce Crawford pleaded guilty to misdemeanor misconduct during an emergency. Searchers spent hours looking for them last month after they were spotted on the Grand River. They made it to land but lied to an official about being in the water.

They chose the pool punishment and community service over 60 days in jail.

Nash tells The News-Herald in Willoughby they've learned their lesson.

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