By Heather Abraham

BRADDOCK (KDKA) – A dock broke loose and sent several boats floating down the Monongahela River Thursday morning.

However, quick action by some river workers helped to avoid a crisis.

The dock is partially underwater and one boat was damaged. But, it’s not all that bad considering that early Thursday morning, the dock was freely flowing down the Monongahela River with 10 boats in tow.

“Hurried up, left work and found quite a mess,” Birdie’s Landing Owner Bob Betters said.

“Woke up said my boat was gone. It’s kind of like a sad thing to hear in the morning,” Ron Shaffer said.

Not long after the distress call around 7:45 a.m., Captain Mike Lucjak with Union Railroad was at the ready and came to the rescue.

“We were able to get them stopped and get them secured to our tugboat and able to bring them on to our side of the river and get them secured,” Lucjak said.

The boats were dangerously close to the Braddock Lock and Dam, having traveled a few miles from Birdie’s Landing in McKeesport.

Luckily, the damage was kept to a minimum as people came to claim their boats and figure out how to get them to a safe harbor.

“I see nothing wrong with it, except I’m stuck on it on the high seas,” Shaffer said.

“Boaters are a different breed. You see a car broke down on the side of the road, people go by. You see a boat, boaters help each other,” Betters said.

It is believed that some debris floating down the river after Wednesday’s heavy rains may have damaged the dock and caused it to break free.


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