Giant Clam Shell Recovered from Mississippi River in St. Paul

Updated: 06/26/2014 6:05 PM
Created: 06/26/2014 2:11 PM
By: Heidi Enninga

The giant clam shell that KSTP spotted floating down the Mississippi River in St. Paul on Tuesday morning has been recovered.

Padelford Riverboats told us the owner and two of the company's pilots spotted the shell jammed under one of the Minnesota Centennial Showboat's rafts, pushed up against some utility lines Thursday morning.

The rising river levels dislodged the giant clam shell, which is actually a piece of playground equipment, and sent it for a ride on the floodwaters.

The trio was able to lasso the shell and tow it to a dock where it could be tethered.

Gary Meyer, a pilot at Padelford Riverboats, said the crew had been keeping an eye out for the shell on routine trips to check their boats while riverboat business is temporarily suspended due to high water levels.

After seeing the story on the news, Meyer said they were hoping the shell was found quickly because it could be a hazard. He said the shell might move so quickly in the flooded river's fast current that people wouldn't have time to see it coming toward them and get out of the way.

The shell is still in its temporary watery home for now, but Meyer said they have contacted Geri Connelly, the shell's creator, to report it found.

He said they got a text message back that said, "That's awesome! My heroes!"

Although Meyer said there were rumors circulating about a reward for finding the shell, he hasn't heard anything about one so far. He said safety was the priority.

In all, Meyer estimated the shell traveled 1,000 yards from its home at Kelley's Landing Play Area at Harriet Island Regional Park in St. Paul to the other side of the island.

Photo courtesy of Padelford Riverboats via Twitter

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