Coast Guard: No pollution threat from sunken sternwheelers

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BELPRE, Oh.-(WTAP) Update: 1/16/2018

The U.S. Coast Guard says there's currently no pollution threat from a sunken sternwheeler on the Ohio River.

A Coast Guard spokesman Tuesday said it was notified over the weekend of the sinking of the Blennerhassett and Centennial sternwheelers on the Belpre side of the river.

The Coast Guard says no fuel was reported present on the vessel, which is believed to have taken on water during last week's heavy rains.

It was told the owner, Dave Ruble, is working to salvage the boat, which has been docked there for several years.

With the boat being a private craft, the Coast Guard says any further involvement it would have with the incident, is if the boat begins leaking oil.


Historic sternwheelers are believed damaged, perhaps as a result of last week's heavy rains and high water.

After being contacted by several people-by phone and social media-we shot video Monday of the Ruble's Sternwheelers, the Centennial and the Blennerhassett, where they're docked along the Ohio River in Belpre.

The pictures show the boats partially under water, and appearing to be tilted, or "listing" to one side.

We contacted owner Dave Ruble, but he had no comment on the situation.

The Rubles for years were the main sternwheel operators taking visitors to Blennerhassett Island from May to October each year.

But the island's management several years ago contracted with another company for those services.

The paddlewheelers have made private trips to the island, and have been a regular sight at the annual Ohio River Sternwheel Festival in Marietta.