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First ever Maid of the Mist female captain looking to inspire others

Posted at 6:53 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 11:14:27-04

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — The first full season of all electric-zero emission boat usage for the Maid of the Mist has been a brand new experience for Captain Katiltynn McHenry.

"It's completely different," Captain McHenry said, "There's definitely a learning curve if you've never worked on something like this before."

Captain McHenry has been making history on the boats all season. After being hired in 2019, she's the first ever female Maid of the Mist captain. It's something McHenry says she didn't know when she became a captain of the Maid of the Mist.

"It only ever came up in conversation when I was asking where the other female captains got their shirts," Captain McHenry said, "and (the company) said 'I don't think there's been another female captain."

She says it's never been a huge thought on her mind as she enjoys the job. The Maid of the Mist says there have been fewer than 50 captains since 1846 with many staying for 20 or 30 years.

"Kaitlynn has transitioned very well to our new all-electric, zero-emission vessels, and we are pleased she is part of our team of captains who expertly navigate Maid of the Mist vessels on the Niagara River every day," Maid of the Mist President Christopher M. Glynn said of Captain McHenry.

As hundreds of tourists each day are flocking back to the boats following a down year in 2020 due to the pandemic, McHenry says she's still in awe of the natural wonder that is her office.

"If anything, I appreciate them a little more than I did before," Captain McHenry says of Niagara Falls.

McHenry said she would love if her being a captain could lead to more like her.

"Hopefully, one day, we can do a fully crewed boat by all women," McHenry said, "that would be a lot of fun."

For more information on the Maid of the Mist, check out the link here.