Couple recalls harrowing hours on sunken burger boat

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Clinton, IOWA- A Quad City couple is reliving some harrowing hours on the Mississippi River, as their floating restaurant started to sink after hitting a wing-dam as the sun was setting.

"Devastated, it was our dream. We're just devastated.", said Sonya Carey-Otte, who owned Mimi's Burger Boat, along with her husband, Dean.

"We were avoiding a barge that was coming through the drawbridge. All of a sudden, a grinding halt. We hit the wing-dam," Dean Otte said of the accident that happened Sunday night near Clinton, Iowa.

The couple, along with their two dogs and a 12-year old helper, scrambled to the bow of the steel tug, as the boat started to take on water and sink.

"It was like a geyser came out of the bottom of the boat. It just blows the whole bottom of the boat," said Sonya.

"The kitchen took on a lot of water, and we started sinking. I was afraid I was going to be electrocuted. I've got six freezers and refrigerators and air conditioners plugged in and I'm in water to my waist," she said.

Click here to learn more about wing dams and how to observe them from the water

Clinton Police and Fire came to the couple's rescue, but it took awhile because of the river current at the location, at the intersection where the Mississippi and Beaver Channel meet.

It has been a rough summer for the Ottes. Dean lost his job recently, the Burger Boat their primary source of income.

"We only have liability insurance because it's the unsinkable boat. It's a solid steel tug. It's going to cost a lot to remove it and it's our income and it's sitting at the bottom of the river, " Sonya said.

The couple is looking for help in removing the tug out of the river.

"Our main thing now is to get it off the wing dam and out of the water," Dean said.

A GoFund me account has been set up to help the couple try to get the boat afloat again.