‘We’re not millionaires’; Prairie Lily owners speak out on vandalism
Published Thursday, April 18, 2019 5:24PM CST Last Updated Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:49PM CST
The owners of a summertime favourite in Saskatoon say they are angry and saddened after vandals struck the Prairie Lily riverboat earlier this week.
On Tuesday morning someone snuck onto the ship and started breaking some of the windows.
Mike Steckhan and his wife Joan, who own and operate the boat, said the suspect also destroyed the boat’s security cameras and threw chairs and life jackets into the river.
Steckhan predicts it will cost upwards of $5,000 to repair the damage.
“We’re not millionaires, we can’t afford this kind of stuff happening all the time.”
He added that all of the repair costs come out of their pockets as they don’t have a large corporation backing them.
Steckhan said the windows in particular are expensive to repair.
“Those aren’t car windows, they have to meet a passenger vessel standard. They’re tempered safety glass and they’re custom made. So, each one of those windows are going to cost about the same as a windshield in your car.”
He said one positive thing that has come out of this is the community’s support.
“We have some of our passengers and one fella who for example lives up on Saskatchewan Crescent and he drives across the University Bridge twice a day to go downtown. He says, 'I always check the ship, make sure it's there and make sure everything's okay.' It's nice that people are taking interest and ownership.”
Police and the commissionaires quickly arrived on scene after the boat’s security alarm went off, but the vandal escaped.
Steckhan said there isn’t much they can do as there were no fingerprints left behind.
The ship has been vandalized three to four times since it began operations in 2012, he said.
The owners refuse to let this sink their upcoming season.
The ship will start its regular schedule on May 10.