The Muscatine Fire Department and the Muscatine County Search and Rescue team were dispatched just before noon Wednesday (April 14) to assist an 80-foot yacht that was reportedly taking on water while travelling upriver to Minnesota.
The Lady Chateau out of Stillwater, Minn., reportedly broke a drive shaft that punch a hole into the gear box where the starboard propeller shaft tore apart this morning. The two individuals that were on board initially called the U.S. Coast Guard, who then notified Muscatine County Emergency Management, the Muscatine Fire Department, and the Muscatine County Search and Rescue team for assistance.
“They had the hole repaired and units assisted the boat to the floating dock at the river front because they lost their ability to steer to the port side,” Battalion Chief Gary Ronzheimer said. “Units remained ready to assist in case we had to take the two individuals off the boat.”
Ronzheimer said that the boat will remain in Muscatine while the owners determine when they can move the boat upriver to a dry dock that can handle the 62-ton craft and make repairs.
The Muscatine Fire Department handles all types of hazards and emergencies including water rescues in all types of weather and at all times of the year. The Fire Department constantly trains to be ready to respond to all types of emergencies including fires, hazmat, auto extrication, and rescues in confined spaces, on water and ice, and high angle rescues among others.
“We are trained and ready to go when the alarm goes off,” Fire Chief Jerry Ewers said.
In fact, the Muscatine Fire Department spent over 1,200 hours training during the month of March including 335 hours on various types of rescues and 292 hours in fire suppression. The Fire Department jointly responds with Muscatine County Search and Rescue to ensure a quick response and coordinated effort in all water and ice rescues, and combined training is on the horizon.