Allision Leads To Breakaway And River Closure

The Lower Mississippi River was closed briefly March 15 following an allision between the mv. Cooperative Spirit and the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge near Luling, La. The incident occurred at about 1:30 a.m., with the river closure in place between Miles 115 and 122.

The Cooperative Spirit, part of American River Transportation Company’s fleet, was traveling downriver with 29 grain barges at the time of the allision. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the allision resulted in a breakaway, with two barges sinking and a third initially unaccounted for.

The river was reopened to navigation the afternoon of March 16.

The Cooperative Spirit was also involved in a collision in the Luling area on January 26. During that incident, a collision occurred between the Cooperative Spirit, headed upriver with 40 barges, and the mv. RC Creppel, pushing two barges downriver. The collision set all 42 barges adrift and caused the RC Creppel to sink. Three crew members from the RC Creppel died in the incident, and a fourth was recovered by the crew of a Good Samaritan vessel.

In both cases, the Mississippi River in the area was near flood stage, with the nearest gage at Bonnet Carré Spillway reading 19.8 feet on March 15 and 19.5 feet on January 26.