Rough River Currents Sink Pittsburgh's ‘Ice Cream Boat’

It was the second summer on the water for the Sugar and Spice Ice Cream boat.

Kevin and Lori Heenan were hoping for a big weekend at the Three Rivers Regatta. The husband-and-wife team operate the Sugar and Spice Ice Cream boat, launched last summer as the on-the-water version of their ice cream truck. Sadly, the ice cream boat sank over the weekend, a victim of turbulent currents on the Monongahela River.

The boat was docked at the South Side Marina when it was overwhelmed Saturday by fast river currents –– a byproduct of heavy rains.

"We were there getting prepped for the Regatta," Heenan told the Trib. "You could see it start to take on water and you just realized, you need to walk away now. Within not even a minute, (the current) just took it down."

As the boat slid under the water, the currents smashed the cabin against the docks. Its freezers, coolers and dipping cabinets were destroyed as the remains of the boat washed downstream before lodging against another part of the marina.

Heenan was set to dock on the North Shore for this weekend's regatta and also is scheduled to cater a private event Friday afternoon.

"I guess they won't have ice cream, or I'll have to bring in the truck," Heenan tells the Trib.

Heenan's family have been in the ice cream business for more than 30 years. His brother, Keith, owns the Sugar and Spice Ice Cream shop in Baldwin. Moving forward, Kevin says he will focus on the ice cream truck. He says the boat was insured, but he is not sure yet how much of the loss will be covered.  

The ice cream boat was one of several that sank at the South Side Marina over the weekend. Fox Chapel Marine Sales and Service operates the marina but could not say how much damage was done to the docks or the boats, the Trib reports.

Categories: The 412