Popular Houseboat Crashes through Ice off Nicollet Island

Updated: 01/09/2013 7:45 AM KSTP.com By: Chris Egert

Her bow is barely poking up out of the ice. Benches where people sit for summertime fun on the Mississippi – are now submerged in icy water.

A houseboat that thousands of people see every day off Nicollet Island crashed through the ice.

The boat, called the Naiad, got its name from Greek mythology.

Naiads were nymphs who drowned the young men with whom they became enamored. 

Now she's the one drowning. 

Neighbors like Jerri Summerville were stunned, “This is such a surprise."

Hennepin County Water Patrol was alerted on Tuesday that the 30-40 foot long boat had dropped into the Mississippi River - investigators aren't sure why.

The boat has become somewhat of a landmark - not just for the people who live on the island -- but for the thousands of drivers who pass over the Hennepin Avenue Bridge every day.

Summerville added, “It does add to the character of the area, I particularly enjoy seeing it from over there under the Grain Belt sign."

The boat's owners, Rushika and Christopher Hague, have written two books about the history of Nicollet Island.

They told deputies investigating the sinking that they'd take care of getting the houseboat out.

But the next chapter of the Naiad may have to wait until spring.