Rowing teams warned to avoid river trestle after debris hits boat

Augusta Rowing Club teams have been warned to avoid a Savannah River railroad trestle after falling construction debris damaged a boat Monday.

 

“Right now, we’re asking that no one row up toward the bridge while construction is going on,” said Michael Cobb, the club’s boathouse manager and coach.

Members of Augusta State University’s rowing team escaped injury Monday when an iron railroad spike fell from the Norfolk Southern trestle and punctured the hull of the specially designed carbon and fiberglass boat, known as a shell.

“It missed one of the guys by just inches and buried itself in the deck of the boat,” Cobb said. “We spoke to their representatives, who were very nice, and they have referred me to their insurance company.”

The damaged boat, he said, could be repaired for less than $1,000.

The four-week construction project involves replacing railroad ties and performing other maintenance work to the trestle, which was built in 1899.

During the project, Cobb said, the college, high school and middle school rowing teams will practice in other areas.

“We can keep on rowing because we have 14 miles downstream,” he said. “But we are lucky no one was hurt.”

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