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Floating restaurant in Kentucky rolls down Ohio River -- again

By Kevin Conlon, CNN
updated 10:48 PM EST, Thu February 6, 2014
Jeff Ruby's Waterfront Restaurant in downtown Cincinnati separated from the shoreline and floated downriver.
Jeff Ruby's Waterfront Restaurant in downtown Cincinnati separated from the shoreline and floated downriver.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jeff Ruby's Waterfront Restaurant broke from its moorings on the Ohio River
  • The floating eatery is being held in place on the Ohio River until it can be relocated
  • The business has been closed since 2011 after it broke free with 83 people inside

(CNN) -- A floating restaurant along the banks of the Ohio River in Covington, Kentucky, broke free from its moorings Thursday and drifted several hundred yards downriver, according to Assistant Fire Chief Chris Black.

Jeff Ruby's Waterfront Restaurant -- which has sweeping views of downtown Cincinnati -- separated from the shoreline and floated downriver, striking the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, which carries U.S. Routes 42 and 127, and spinning around in the process. "The part that was facing Kentucky is now facing Cincinnati" said the restaurant's owner, Jeff Ruby.

The restaurant is currently being held in place by two tug boats and a barge, according to Ruby, preventing it from ramming into the aging Brent Spence Bridge.

"The tugs will keep it (in place) overnight and then we have two more (boats) coming in the morning." Ruby says the plan is for them to gently guide the restaurant a few miles downriver to a secure dock in Hebron, Kentucky.

Ruby told CNN that one of his employees was walking the 110-foot ramp that connects the floating restaurant to the dock when "he heard cable popping and snapping." Moments later, the dock end of the ramp plunged into the icy water. Ruby says the worker was able to scramble to safety, while another worker inside the restaurant was rescued about an hour later.

This is not the first time that Jeff Ruby's Waterfront Restaurant has floated away. In fact, the restaurant has been closed since March 2011, when the same thing happened with 83 patrons inside, according to Black.

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