CHICAGO (CBS) — With the growing popularity of kayaking and other boat rentals on the Chicago river, the water is getting more crowded, aand at least one tour operator said the need for safety education is that much more important.
“I hate to sound dramatic about it, but I’m truly afraid someone’s going to get killed,” said Michael Borgstrom, president of Wendella Boats, one of several sightseeing companies that operates on the river.
He said the river has gotten much busier in recent years.
“Everybody wants to get there, and see the beautiful buildings, and riverwalk,” he said.
Borgstrom said barges and tour boats that have used the river for decades must now compete with a growing number of companies renting kayaks, electric boats, and other smaller craft. He said many of them operate safely, but others take risks around larger boats.
“Towing a barge, they can’t just stop. It takes them like six bridges in order to stop. A boat gets in front of them, you know, that’s it,” he said.