COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — The Seeweewana did not go gentle into Lake Coeur d’Alene’s deep.
The lake’s last wooden tour boat stayed afloat for 17 minutes after it was scuttled, a quarter mile from City Beach, while hundreds watched from boats, a seaplane, the shore, the boardwalk and Beverly’s.
Fred Finney’s old craft fought gravity for so long that resort waiter Michael Koep quipped to onlookers: “It’s not really going to sink. It’s just a bluff to get business in here.”
It was sinking, imperceptibly.
Finally, the bow slipped under water, and a moment later, at 12:19 p.m. Friday, March 25, 1988, the Seeweewana was gone. For the last 35 years, it has formed an underwater park, enjoyed by divers, with Fred Murphy’s Rutledge and P.W. Johnson’s Spokane.
The final seconds were anticlimactic for the observers on the boardwalk, including this columnist. A brisk wind and choppy waves pushed the flotilla of 18 boats between the boardwalk and the Seeweewana, obscuring the view. The landlubbers protested, with one woman screaming, “How rude.”
To read the full story, visit our news partner, the Coeur d'Alene Press.
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