The boat, which is operated by Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau, came to a halt when the bottom struck debris because of the low levels of the Coosa River.
“It appeared they hit something in water that damaged the props,” Capt. Roger Haggard of the Rome-Floyd Fire Department said. “The boat stalled and was anchored.”
Haggard said the fire department was dispatched at approximately 2:55 p.m. to the boat which was stalled in the middle of the river near Horseleg Creek.
The passengers were taken back to the dock at Heritage Park. All the passengers were rescued by 5:22 p.m. Sunday afternoon and the department was able to tow the boat free and away.
The passengers aboard the Roman Holiday remained calm during the incident, Haggard said.
“Nobody was panicking,” he said. “Nobody was distressed. It wasn’t like the boat broke down. They just got off one boat and onto another.”
The passengers included families and children, he said.
“There were small kids, 8- or 9-year-olds and younger, and older people too,” Haggard said.
Members of the Coosa River Basin Initiative were fishing on the river and saw the stalled boat, he said, and two volunteers assisted the fire department in rescuing the passengers.
“Two guys from CRBI helped and there were three or four people on a pontoon boat that helped get people off, too,” Haggard said.
Neither GRCVB Executive Director Lisa Smith nor CRBI officials could be reached Sunday night for comment.
Haggard said he was pleased with the rescue efforts of all those involved.
“(The boat) could have hit a log or some concrete; you can’t see what’s underwater,” he said. “Nobody was upset; it just took a while to get them all off. This kind of stuff happens.”