NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (RELEASE) - The Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company has announce that a captain who has taken tourists out on an estimated 110,000 boat trips will be retiring Wednesday night. Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Bunting trained almost all the current Maid of the Mist's captains and first mates.
"Malcolm has been doing this longer than anyone else alive," said Bunting's first mate of nine years, Dean Hume. "He's trained everyone here."
It's estimated that in the modern era of Maid of the Mist (since 1955), there have been about a dozen captains and Bunting served the longest. He is also currently one of only two living retired captains.
Over the course of Bunting's three-plus decades aboard the Maid of the Mist boats, he worked as a mate and a captain, the normal progression. He guided boats carrying celebrities, politicians, athletes, royalty, actors, actresses, and millions of everyday people from all over the world. He's seen countless engagements, marriages, and daring movie stunts.
Bunting's most memorable moments, he said, were seeing passengers' faces light up during a trip into the face and mist of the roaring Horseshoe Falls.
"It's when the families and little kids say afterwards, ‘This is the best thing I've ever done. Do you think we can do it again?' " Bunting said. "I've met people from all walks of life, but in my 36 years, I've never heard a complaint. I've been told I have the best job in the world countless times."
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