- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - A 16-foot-tall lighthouse monument has been installed at Burlington to honor victims of a 2012 boating crash and remind people of the potential dangers of the Mississippi River.

The $20,000 lighthouse was installed Friday afternoon on a small peninsula near Bluff Harbor Marina, the Burlington Hawk Eye reports (https://bit.ly/1hy2mQt). A memorial at the structure is being planned for sometime this summer.

“The lighthouse is to promote safety on the river, and the hope has always been people will look at the light and remember the kids and remember what happens if we’re not safe on the river,” said Carlos Capdevila, a member of the River Rat Safety Awareness Organization.

The group was established to remember those killed and injured in an early morning crash May 19, 2012, of two small boats that were shuttling people from a sandbar to the shore. Killed in the crash were Caitlyn M. Atchley, 20; Jacob K. Boyd, 22; Blake A. Eakins, 21; and Matthew T. House, 21. Eight others survived.

The 950-pound lighthouse is a replica of a 19th century lighthouse. It has a 5-foot octagonal base and a permanent “glow light” atop the tower. It contains a lantern room that measures 3 feet across, and the top will be lit every night.

The money to pay for the lighthouse came from donations, including a large gift from the Milwaukee-based Harry and Virginia Murray Foundation. The M.J. Daly Construction Co. donated supplies and services to build the memorial’s foundation.


Information from: The Hawk Eye, https://www.thehawkeye.com

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