Tour Boat Captains Cruise Chicago River By Kayak To Gain New Perspective

Nancy Harty
July 11, 2018 - 2:05 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- In an effort to better understand their neighbors on the Chicago River, some tour boat captains took a tour Wednesday morning in kayaks.

The small vessels are becoming more popular on the redeveloped waterway so Chicago's First Lady and Mercury Cruises had their captains get a different perspective of the river.

Captain Gabriel Argumedo said he's normally about 17 feet above the water level when he's behind the wheel.

From the tour boats, which he compares to a semi-truck, Argumedo said he can see a lot, but still has blind spots.

In that analogy, kayaks are like bicycles.  Small and should move off the side in the middle of heavy traffic, he said.

Argumedo and about nine other captains took the hour-long tour on Wednesday morning lead by staff from Urban Kayaks.

They said many of the tour guides are good about keeping watch over their customers and flipping over any who have accidents.

The move comes a month after a tour boat had to rescue two kayaks who had overturned in the river.