TRANSYLVANIA, La — The Coast Guard closed a portion of the Lower Mississippi River, Thursday, following the sinking of one barge from an uninspected towing vessel.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River received a report at approximately 1:30 a.m., that the UTV Sally Bromfield, while pushing 35 barges, had a breakaway near Transylvania that resulted in one coal barge sinking inside the channel at mile marker 468. One barge is partially submerged, and approximately eight other barges were damaged. The other damaged barges are stable and have been placed in a safe location out of the navigational channel. All barges involved were carrying dry cargo.
The Lower Mississippi River will remain closed from mile marker 469 to mile marker 464 until the river is determined safe for navigation.
A Safety Information Broadcast has been issued. All vessels waiting to transit through the closed area may contact the Coast Guard on VHF-FM channel 16 for more information and mariners are urged to monitor VHF-FM channels 16 and 22 for any changes.
The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.