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Rescuers scrambled to find and help passengers aboard a boat that became stranded, took on water and eventually broke apart near Lock & Dam 14 on the Mississippi River.
Initial reports indicated the boat was stranded near the Illinois-side shore of the dam at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Five passengers – four men and one woman – were reportedly aboard as the boat was reportedly filling with water at Lock & Dam 14, on the north side of Hampton between Campbell’s Island and Interstate 80.
Rescue crews from several nearby communities on both sides of the river responded to the call for help.
At first they had trouble locating a boat or any people stranded. About 25 minutes after the incident was reported, rescuers were told three people were in the water and yelling for help nearly a mile downstream from the dam.
Four of the victims had reportedly been rescued; one was found on the Illinois side and three on the Iowa side.
Emergency workers said some debris, from the boat, was found several hundred yards from shore near the east end of Alcoa near Campbell’s Island. More debris from the boat was reportedly found when one of the locks, at Lock & Dam 14, was opened just before 1:30 p.m.
Crews were using sonar to continue to try to find the boat and the remaining victim more than two-and-a-half hours after the incident began. At least six rescue boats remained in the area as of 2:20 p.m.
The operation officially became a recovery effort when the man still had not been found by 3 p.m.