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Celebration Belle stuck, passengers unloaded

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The Celebration Belle riverboat got stuck in mud off Campbell's Island in Moline, Illinois  Wednesday night with its passengers stuck as well.

Despite efforts by a barge to get it back into deeper water, the boat remained stuck.  Several Channel Cat water taxis were brought in to help get passengers back to shore in Moline.

"We hit something and we stopped abruptly," passenger Linda Sample said, "but they kept us informed about what was going on, what they were going to do."

East Moline Police and Fire departments suspended any efforts to try and get the boat free Wednesday night.

Passengers say a 90-year-old fellow passenger was injured when the boat got stuck and was taken to the hospital.  His condition was unknown.

Employees at the Celebration Belle's gift shop said they were unaware of the situation at the time.

The Celebration Belle was returned to its dock by Thursday morning, July 26.  A dive team from Ottawa, Illinois worked to repair the boat's rudder, which was damaged when the craft ran aground.  About 200 passengers were on board for the cruise that was scheduled to depart at 11 a.m.  They were allowed to stay on board for dining and entertainment but the Celebration Belle remained stationary.

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