Two Barges Partially Sink After Tow Hits Lower Miss Bridge

Two barges of corn partially sank and were being recovered several days after a tow hit a bridge carrying Interstate 155 February 26 near Dyersburg, Tenn.

The mv. Marty Baskerville, owned by Ingram Barge Company, was southbound at 8:50 a.m. with 40 loaded dry cargo bridges when the tow hit the bridge, commonly called the Caruthersville Bridge, said Matthew Babot, the Coast Guard’s public affairs officer for Sector Lower Mississippi in Memphis, Tenn.

The bridge is located at Lower Mississippi River Mile 838.9 and carries traffic between Dyersburg, Tenn., and Caruthersville, Mo.

Multiple barges broke free from the tow, and both the Marty Baskerville and other nearby vessels collected them. No one was injured.

“Initial waterway restrictions recommended the clearance of vessels from the waterway due to adrift barges; subsequent waterway restrictions have been intermittently managed to allow for the passing of vessel traffic yet allow for safe operations,” Babot said.

The bridge was also closed to motor vehicle traffic briefly until an inspector determined it was not damaged.

The Coast Guard continues to investigate the incident. The partially sunken barges were being salvaged in coordination with the Ingram Barge Company, the Coast Guard and supporting technical organizations, Babot said.

According to the Inland River Record, the mv. Marty Baskerville is a 9,000 hp. triple-screw towboat built in 1966 as the Harriet Ann. It was originally owned by Upper Mississippi Towing Corporation.