HUDSON, Wis - The holiday was filled with hard labor for crews on the St. Croix River trying to lift a sunken yacht out of the water, work that ultimately did not pay off.
The three-story, 60-foot houseboat docked in Hudson, Wisconsin sunk overnight last week, and on Labor Day, construction crews brought a crane to the marina to try to lift it from the water.
After an entire day, city workers said the boat only budged a few inches, after complications from the weight of the boat and the crushed dock.
The owner of Hudson-Afton Cruise Lines, where the boat is docked, discovered the situation Friday morning around 4 a.m. and immediately called the owners and an environmental company.
Monday, crowds lined the shore watching the undertaking, some for entertainment, others with frustration.
Some sailboat owners hoping to take their boats out on the holiday say they were told the crane posed too much of a safety risk to get to their boats.
John Lown, of Minneapolis, planned on taking his family sailing on the last day before school starts.
"I was told by city workers we are not allowed to go out there and if I would go out there I'd be arrested," said Lown. "Their coordinating could be better, especially on Labor Day weekend, it's what we are about, especially myself as a construction worker, we take time off to be with our families. That's what is represents."
It was from smooth sailing, but the Lown family was able to plead with law enforcement, and in the end, continued their Labor Day tradition.
"It is the boat my father built, it's been out here since 1954," said Lown. "They could have done a lot better job of how they orchestrated this whole event."
Originally estimates of the recovery effort were estimated at $30,000, but with all the time and labor, city workers estimated the effort at $100,000 or more.
The crane equipment used is from the construction of the new Stillwater bridge, and is needed back on site Tuesday, so crews will work as long as possible to get the boat out of the water.
Crews hope to learn more about why the boat submerged after it is recovered.
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