Tuesday, July 09, 2002

No danger seen in listing Covington Landing

By Cindy Schroeder, cschroeder@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Fire officials are not sure why Covington Landing appeared to be listing over the weekend, but said there is no danger to the public — even after firefighters pumped out some of the floating facility's ballast by mistake.

        Firefighters were called to the facility about 11:30 p.m. Saturday when Alan Bernstein of the adjacent BB Riverboats reported that Covington Landing appeared to be listing more than usual.

        Fire officials remained on the scene until about 2 a.m. Sunday.

        “We don't know why it was listing,” Covington Fire Capt. Jeff Groneck said Monday.

        “There was no danger to patrons, and it did not affect business on Sunday (at any of the Landing's establishments).”

        Capt. Groneck said firefighters who responded to the Landing late Saturday found water in some of the bulkheads and began pumping it out.

        “That water, unknown to us, was used as ballast, management later told us,” he said.

        On Monday, Capt. Groneck said he heard that water was being restored to those compartments.

        “It's usually around this time of year, the middle of the summer, that we end up having less water on the bank side,” said Kelly Gerrein, facilities manager of Covington Landing.

        “That causes it to list into the river side.”

        Miss Gerrein said Neptune Marine of Cincinnati, which has handled repairs and improvements to Covington Landing for 10 years, was pumping more water into the voids, or compartments, on Monday to keep the boat balanced.

        “We're just trying to play a balancing act with something that floats,” Miss Gerrein said.

        She said alarms sound if more than 3 inches of water leaks.

        Neither Miss Gerrein nor Capt. Groneck heard any alarms Saturday night.

        On a separate issue, Miss Gerrein said management has two additional laborers arriving todayto start replacing some deteriorated walk planks that firefightersnoticed in their inspection Saturday.

        She said management had planned to replace the walk planks, but had initially focused on converting the old Howl at the Moon Saloon space on the west side of the boat into a still-unnamed pub. That business is scheduled to open in a couple of weeks.


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