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Ever wonder why the bridge seems to go up while incoming ships and ore boats are way out in the lake and stays up seemingly longer than need be once a ship passes through?


Read what happened here: http://www.boatnerd.com/windoc/

(Bonus points for whoever can come up with a clever, inevitably sophomoric, but hopefully non-clichéd comment about the wheel man's name.)


I would have hated to be on that ship 10 seconds before it hit... realizing what was going to happen but being absolutely unable to do anything about it.

Oh, man! Read the story, and you'll see that the bridge sheared off the ship two feet above a man hunched over in the pilothouse.
I wonder about the people watching the boat from shore. The second I saw that happening, I'd be like Monty Python: "Run away!"

in 1985 or 86 I was actually in the ship canal when I saw the vista king wedge itself under the crosswalk and shear the rear part of the upper deck canopy off...amazing, I think a tourist got hurt.

I happened to see the plane on the highway yesterday! Crazy!


The incident you refer to gets a brief mention in my new book, as Steve Douville recounts the mishaps that occurred when he was bridge supervisor:

"...and a Vista Fleet pilot who tried to see how close his vessel could get to the bridge before it lifted (he misjudged and collided with the bridge; he lost his job and his pilot’s license.)"

This reminds me of Towboat. [1]

[1] For the uninitiated,Towboat is one of the Great Legends of the Internet. It's well worth scrolling through, if only so you can go around cryptically saying "ho hum, just another day on the river" ever after.


I saw that video a while ago, and was thinking "how dumb do you have to be to just drive into a bridge?". I read the full report, interesting story - thanks for posting the link!

I'm so glad our city administration just added some job duties to our bridge operators, like snow removal...that will decrease the chances that something like that might happen in Duluth. We would much rather have them doing other duties outside of making sure the bridge goes up and down properly.

Now that's a thousand foot sh*tt#r!!

did they ever win their lawsuit?

So, boats are hard to stop. Huh?

maybe Bea Ojakangas can work in a plug for her new book here too. like- "he should've been making a salty hot dish instead of piloting a saltie."

Monroe, you're right, of course. But when I look at that burning boat I think to myself, "Well, that's not too big a problem that it couldn't be fixed by a monkey with a tool belt."

so true

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