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Stuck pontoon boat to take plunge over Tar River dam

Posted March 6, 2009

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— A pontoon boat stuck on the edge of a Tar River Reservoir dam will take a 25-foot plunge Monday, ending its run as a sightseeing attraction for five days.

Pontoon stuck on dam is popular boat show Pontoon stuck on dam is popular boat show

City officials believe the boat came untied from a dock about a mile upstream, floated down the river and then got stuck on the dam Wednesday.

Since then, spectators have streamed by to look at the vessel, perched on the edge of a waterfall, rocking as water rushes over it.

"It's odd seeing it sitting there. It's just not moving; it's not going anywhere," spectator Opal Medlin said.

"It's exciting really to see something like that," Julian Peace, another spectator, said.

Some people took pictures, and they all speculated about how the boat got there and how it's kept hanging on.

"It's amazing that it hasn't gone over before now," spectator Greg Griffin said.

Meanwhile, Rocky Mount officials, the boat's owner and an insurance company wondered what to do with the boat. The owner was out of town, and the city decided it was too dangerous to send a crew to pull in the vessel.

"What you have is private property that is on public property," said Wayne Hollowell, the city's director of Water Resources.

On Friday, though, the insurance company declared the boat a total loss, clearing the way for a new option: Open the flood gates.

"Monday morning, with written permission from the owner, we'll drop the dam, and the boat will come off the dam," Hollowell said.

The boat's show will end with a 25-foot plunge onto rocks. Ultimately, officials said, it's the safest end.

Emergency crews will be on hand Monday to ensure safety and to salvage the boat, or pieces of it. City officials said they'll closely monitor water levels before opening the dam.

11 Comments

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  • Its me again Mar 9, 2009

    I'm glad its over,now the neighborhood can return to normal.

  • Panther Mar 6, 2009

    "WHY NOT SEND A HELICOPTER WITH RESCUE BASKET AND LOWER THEM AND A ROPE AND TIE IT OFF AND PULL IT WITH THE HELICOPTER."

    A helicoptor cost too much per hour to make it worth it. A bell 412 burns over 100 gal. of fuel per hour. Its cheeper for the insurance company to write it off.

  • time4real Mar 6, 2009

    can I put my ex-wife on it?

  • CrewMax Mar 6, 2009

    Why don't they pull it back up? Seems like a minor engineering feat. Unless there is a hidden snag, it would slide relatively
    easily. Doesn't seem to make sense to intentionally scuttle this boat.

  • kittiboo Mar 6, 2009

    Well, that's something you don't see everyday!

  • hi_i_am_wade Mar 6, 2009

    Hey! I was at this Tar River dam Wednesday showing it to someone who lived nearby who never saw it since we were in the area. I e-mail this boat to a friend Thursday, and here it is today. If you want to see it for yourself, it is not that hard to get too and you are in the area.
    ttp://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=35.898815,-77.883142&a
    mp;spn=0.00299,0.005633&t=h&z=18
    Just turn at the Duck'N store off the main road, Bend of the River Rd.

  • james27613 Mar 6, 2009

    right, chopper can drop a line down to the boat,
    (not a man, too dangerous)

    then move up the flow to gently 'tug' the boat off the dam,
    and then another boat can grab the line.

    Time to put up a large net to trap any watercraft that
    are floating in the river.

  • dewdropby4you2 Mar 6, 2009

    WHY NOT SEND A HELICOPTER WITH RESCUE BASKET AND LOWER THEM AND A ROPE AND TIE IT OFF AND PULL IT WITH THE HELICOPTER.

  • bushisaretard Mar 6, 2009

    Hope the fuel and oil doesn't spill out of the motor.

  • dazrite Mar 6, 2009

    why the owner of course. you really don't have any expectation that an insurance company is going to pay anything do you? And towns only take money....not give it.

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