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Drought Exposes Sunken Riverboat on the Mississippi River

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The Diamond Lady, a once majestic riverboat, rests in mud at Riverside Park Marina in Martin Luther King Jr. Riverside Park along the Mississippi River on October 19, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. Lack of rain in the Ohio River Valley and along the Upper Mississippi has the Mississippi River south of the confluence of the Ohio River nearing record low levels which is wreaking havoc at marinas, and with barge traffic, driving up shipping prices and threatening crop exports and fertilizer shipments as the soybean and corn harvest gets into full swing.

Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Drought has caused the Mississippi river to hit historically low water levels, and it has led to a historic — and certainly haunted riverboat casino being exposed. The Diamond Lady took its maiden voyage in the early 1990s and was taken out of commission in 1999, then later moved to the Riverside Park Marina in Memphis Tennessee, according to Action News 5.

It floated there for a couple of decades until it succumbed to a strong winter storm and sank in 2021. But, now it’s back, and people are excited.

The big reveal was only possible because the Mississippi is now 11 feet below its historical average, according to Newsweek… which is traditionally not a good thing.

It may not be in pristine condition, but the Diamond Lady is still a sight to behold and has reportedly caused hordes of people to come check the once-glistening ship out for themselves. Near the bow of the ship a sign reads “Warning Closed.” I, personally, cannot believe it.

The Diamond Lady, a once majestic riverboat, rests with smaller boats in mud at Riverside Park Marina in Martin Luther King Jr. Riverside Park along the Mississippi River on October 19, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. Lack of rain in the Ohio River Valley and along the Upper Mississippi has the Mississippi River south of the confluence of the Ohio River nearing record low levels which is wreaking havoc at marinas, and with barge traffic, driving up shipping prices and threatening crop exports and fertilizer shipments as the soybean and corn harvest gets into full swing.

Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

The Diamond Lady wasn’t fully submerged when it sank. You can see that from the waterline that stops below the third deck. While everything below that line is a murky and gloomy brown color, the white still shines (sort of) above it. It was probably very cool to see back in its heyday.

While it may seem like a cool idea to hop on board, it’s almost certainly a terrible idea. First of all, the ship is just sitting in very wet and unstable mud. You don’t wanna be the guy who knocked over The Diamond Lady, do you? On top of that, who knows the condition of the ship’s floors? It’s without a doubt very dangerous.

There’s no word on what will happen to the once-submerged riverboat casino. Is there a more fitting way to celebrate Halloween? I personally don’t think so.

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