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Rescue boat hits dry land, falls off trailer

| Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 3:00 p.m.

A boat used by the Pittsburgh River Rescue unit fell off its trailer onto Liberty Avenue in the Strip District Thursday afternoon, blocking outbound traffic for about an hour, officials said.

One of the unit's four boats had to be pulled out of the water due to ice on the Allegheny River and was being taken to the First Vehicle maintenance and storage facility in the Strip around 2 p.m., said Richard Linn, EMS operations chief. Both a winch cable and a rope securing the 30-foot boat to the trailer broke, and it fell onto the roadway near the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 23rd Street. Allegheny County 911 supervisors said lanes of Liberty Avenue were closed for the suddenly landlocked boat for about an hour.

It was unknown whether the boat was damaged, Linn said. With ice making navigation in traditional boats difficult, River Rescue was using its airboat to respond to any calls for service.

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