Boaters gearing up for Kenny Chesney, creating safety concerns

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PITTSBURGH - Boaters are hitting the waters in preparation for Saturday’s Kenny Chesney concert at Heinz Field, creating safety concerns for city officials.

To ensure the perfect spot to enjoy the night, some boats are already anchored together in the river. Come Saturday, boats could be docked several deep.

“Parked four, five, six deep, oh, absolutely. It'll be crazy down here Saturday,” said boat owner Jim Roemer.

The congestion has safety experts concerned about potential safety issues, including the possibility of a large fire or explosion triggered by grilling and careless drinking.

Channel 11’s Alan Jennings reported that the city would not be able to fight such a fire from the water, leaving firefighters to run hoses over multiple boats.

“How do you get to that boat? And if there's a rush of people trying to get onto land, are you going to have people drowning?” said City Council President Darlene Harris.

Fire Chief Darryl Jones said that although a fire on the water could turn chaotic, “we're still well equipped. We will fight the fire from the shore.”

City Hall is debating whether to charge a docking fee to help defray public safety costs that include fire and paramedics, and garbage collection.