ZANESVILLE, Ohio – A popular tourist attraction in Muskingum County could be floating down the river for another 20 years.
The U.S. Coast Guard met with the county commissioners Thursday to discuss the longevity of the Lorena Sternwheeler. It’s required that the vessel is inspected every year and dry docked every five years. Prevention Head with the coast guard, Geoff Scibek, said the Lorena is maintained very well, so they don’t have a lot of issues during inspections.
“We haven’t had any issues,” said Scibek. “She gets inspected every year minimum and we’ve had minimum issues with the vessel since I’ve been here for five years.”
Vice President at the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce, Kelly Ashby, said when the vessel went back into the water last year for the five year docking, it got nicked. The leak was repaired, but it needs to come back out of the water again for a more permanent repair.
“We have had great inspections every year. It is normal wear and tear on the vessel that gets repaired every year, if necessary every year,” explained Ashby. “Sometimes we have not had any repairs needed and again, it’s just a safety requirement and it’s a U.S. Coast Guard annual inspection that does have to take place for a vessel that carries passengers.”
Ashby said they’ll be deciding within the next week when they’re going to dry dock the Lorena. Once the boat is out of the water, it should only take 7 to 10 days to go back in. Ashby said the vessel is still safe for passengers and they’re hoping to start the season on time the first weekend of June.