Coast Guard investigating tour boat accident on Chicago River
(Above) The bow of the Lila is damaged after running into the concrete dock at left in an accident that happened late Monday afternoon. (Click on images to view larger versions.)
7-Aug-12 The U.S. Coast Guard will try to figure out why the engine on a brand new sightseeing boat failed late Monday afternoon, sending the boat crashing into a concrete dock near Michigan Avenue and injuring nine people.
At about 5:30 p.m., the Lila, delivered to Wendella Boats last Wednesday, was docking just west of the DuSable Bridge, on the north side of the Chicago River, when the engine, instead of going into reverse and slowing the boat, gave out. When the Lila hit head on, nine passengers were injured, two seriously.
144 passengers and six crewmembers were on the Lila. The injured were taken to three nearby hospitals. None of the injuries is life threatening. According to Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Meg Ahlheim, it was an injured passenger who first called CFD at 5:31 p.m.
According to a statement released by the company on Tuesday, Wendella is working with the U.S. Coast Guard to determine the cause of the engine failure. At Wendella, the safety of our passengers and employees is our top priority, reads the statement. Our thoughts remain with the health and well-being of those who were injured. As a third-generation, family-owned and operated Chicago-based business since 1935, we take pride in serving our passengers and our focus will remain on them.
(Below) Two Chicago Police Department boats and one U.S. Coast Guard boat alongside the Lila near the DuSable Bridge on Monday.
Related story: Sightseeing boat hits dock near Michigan Avenue
By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | Published 7-Aug-12 9:17 PM