Several Injured in Channel Cat Accident - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Several Injured in Channel Cat Accident

Posted: Updated: Aug 10, 2014 08:30 PM
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Two people were taken to the hospital by ambulance and at least ten others suffered minor injuries when a Channel Cat water taxi crashed into a dock on Saturday.

It happened around 4:45 p.m. near the Isle of Capri in Bettendorf. The experience left passengers physically and emotionally banged up.

"It just went BANG on the side," said one passenger, Bridget Mcgill.

"And I think it really surprised the driver of the boat and threw a couple of passengers out of their seats," added another passenger, Gregory Danner.

Those passengers say it was a huge surprise to them as well.

They say as the Channel Cat water taxi was approaching the dock in Bettendorf, the wind apparently picked up, sending the vessel off course.

We're told the driver's attempts to get the boat back in line led to the impact with the dock moments later.

"It was like he gunned it, which was the entirely wrong thing to do and we just hit like really really hard," Mcgill said. "I ended up off of my seat with me knees bent on the back of the seats and I slid underneath. I was not in good shape."

About a dozen passengers in all were hurt. Two of them were hurt seriously enough to be pulled off the boat on stretchers.

"Two children. A couple of head injuries, to the extent we do not know," said Machinery Technician First Class Jerad Landheer, boarding officer with the US Coast Guard.

"Other lacerations, contusions bumps and bruises from other crew members were sustained while they were sitting down," he added, listing the injuries of the other people onboard.

The boat came away from the crash with just a small dent in the bow.

"Very minor damages. Nothing integral. They're not taking on water or anything," Landheer said.

After talking to Coast Guard investigators, some passengers were able to continue on their water taxi tours. Others opted to find alternative transportation back to their cars.

Even when their bruises and scrapes heal up, at least some passengers say they'll be thinking twice about going back on the water after this experience.

"It was the first time we've ridden on the Channel Cat but I don't think they're all that scary I have a feeling this type of accident is pretty unusual," Danner said.

The accident wasn't stopping some people from riding the boat on Sunday. "The weather gives more action because of all the weather and the wind and I'm surprised that it hasn't happened more often," rider Thomas Foley of Davenport said. "So, they've done a great job."

"I don't think it's ever happened before, and it's not going to happen again," passenger Kathy Riepe added. "It's one of those one time events. Don't let that stop anybody from getting on."

The Coast Guard continues to investigate the crash.

Officials tell us they're waiting for the results of drug and alcohol tests on the driver to determine whether any charges should be filed.

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