Official urges caution after boat falls over St. Charles dam

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles fire chief is urging those on the Fox River not to stray too close to the dam north of Main Street after a boat fell over it Saturday night.

A Stingray sport boat headed for the Hotel Baker, which is at 100 W. Main St., had motor failure, then got caught by the current and went over the dam sideways, St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet said.

Emergency crews were dispatched to the Fox River at about 8:45 p.m. Saturday for the incident, St. Charles police spokeswoman Lisa Blackwell said.

The boat was located near the pedestrian bridge south of the Illinois Street bridge floating upright with the boat’s owner, a St. Charles resident, and his passenger inside, according to a St. Charles police report.

“They were very wet, but they were uninjured,” Schelstreet said.

The boat was able to self-correct after going over the dam and did not capsize, Schelstreet said. The owner and passenger said they were thrown around in the boat during the impact, the police report states.

St. Charles Fire Department personnel tied the boat off to the shore until they were able to tow it with another boat to a lift station off Riverside Avenue, Schelstreet said.

The boat’s owner apologized for inconveniencing the first responders, Schelstreet said.

Schelstreet said southbound travelers on the Fox River should stop when they see buoys warning them of the dam ahead in St. Charles.

Like the dam north of State Street in Geneva, Schelstreet said there is a boil at the bottom of the St. Charles dam.

A 26-year-old Bloomington man who rode in a two-person kayak April 19, 2014, on the Fox River died after he went over the Geneva dam, the Kane County Coroner’s Office said.

Dinesh Sudhakar-Uckoo became caught in the boil in front of the dam, and his preliminary cause of death was drowning, according to the coroner’s office.

“If the [Stingray] boat had overturned instead of self-corrected, the outcome of that situation could have been tragic,” Schelstreet said.