Belle's CEO says weather caused boat to crash into dock


by Rachel Nix

Posted on October 23, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 23 at 5:07 PM

(WHAS11) - New details from the Belle of Louisville’s CEO say it wasn't a barge after all.  

She says the Belle crashed into a dock and has also ruled bad weather, not pilot error, as the cause of Saturday's accident.  

And the Belle is even said not be out of commission, after all.

Tugboats ushered the Belle of Louisville to the dock Saturday afternoon after the belle, full of passengers, slammed into McBride dock.  

A day later, the CEO of the Belle, Linda Harris, says the coast guard determined the accident was not caused by pilot or captain error.  

But instead, by something the Belle is not equipped to handle bad weather.  

Harris says the boat simply was no match for Saturday’s windy weather.  

"She has no modern navigation features, it's just the paddle wheel that propels her."  

But Harris says the Belle's not out of commission, just docked a few weeks before they planned to end the season anyway.  

And she says if you planned to take a cruise, don't change your plans.  

"We will fill the Spirit every time we can and the belle makes for a beautiful dockside venue.  Our "Boo" cruise for Halloween will be just fine dockside."  

There's no estimate on the cost to repair but Harris says she doesn't anticipate they'll have to dry dock the Belle to make the repairs  

Two people were taken to the hospital after the crash and released later that night without any serious injuries.