Floating Restaurant Breaks Loose Carrying a Worker Downriver

Restaurant on the Loose Floats Down River

Call it a new variation on a to-go order. A couple of workers at the Jeff Ruby's Waterfront Restaurant were taken by surprise when the floating establishment broke its moorings yesterday and sauntered a few hundred yards downriver, according to CNN.

It was a chilly morning (overnight lows hit 13 degrees, according to AccuWeather). The barge-based restaurant, which floats on the Ohio River, is tied to the Covington, KY shore and offers views of downtown Cincinnati. Suddenly the cables that tethered it to the shore began "popping and snapping," according to restaurant owner Jeff Ruby. A worker was walking the long ramp from the dock to the business when the dock end of the ramp dropped into the frigid waters. The worker got back up on the dock, but another one, already on board, was stuck for an hour until rescue workers could pull him off the vessel.

The workers were repairing holes in the bottom of the boat, according to an interview maintenance worker Steve Poe gave to the Associated Press. Ice coming out of the river "piled up and it caused it to break loose," he said. "It was wild."

The restaurant floated out, spun around, and hit a nearby bridge, as CNN reported. It came to rest at the bridge, where "tug boats retrieved it," according to the Associated Press.

It may have given everyone a scare, but it couldn't have been a total surprise. As AP reported, in 2011, the restaurant broke free and drifted 100 feet downriver, only with 83 people aboard. All were safely rescued. The restaurant has been closed to the public since then.
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