Unmanned boat goes for float over dam

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; A boat reported stolen early Saturday morning had just slipped away and went for a joy float &8212; over the river dam.

A Linden man, whose identity was not known at press time, reported the boat as stolen to the Demopolis Police Department early Saturday morning. The man told police that he had tied his boat up at Foscue Park, where he was camping for the weekend.

Interim Fire Chief Tommy Tate said the case was solved quickly when his department was called to the Lock and Dam after the lock master reported an unmanned boat getting stuck on the upper wall.

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Tate said the lock master reported four boats were sent through the lock on Saturday morning and that the changing levels of the river could have pulled the boat loose from where it was tied up at Foscue Park.

Fire officials decided not to attempt a recovery of the boat because &8220;no human life was in danger&8221; and the boat was in a precarious position.

The boat went over the dam at approximately 2 p.m. Saturday, and was trapped in the rift below on Monday. Tate said the boat owner said he planned to retrieve the boat, but Tate has warned against it.

Tate said rain would probably help free the boat and send it down river, where a recovery would be easier.