PTL Marine Employee Missing After Boat Capsizes
Note: This is an updated version of an article that originally appeared on waterwaysjournal.net on March 4.
A PTL Marine employee was missing near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers after his boat capsized March 3.
Tyler Morgan, 23, of LaCenter, Ky., was operating a 26-foot crew boat owned by PTL Marine grocery boat several miles upstream from the Wickliffe, Ky., boat ramp and had dropped a person off onto a tow, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Sgt. Daniel Richardson said.
About 3:40 p.m., while the boat was moored, it capsized. Morgan was the only person on board, witnesses told conservation officers.
Petty Officer Third Class Riley Perkofski, a Coast Guard public affairs officer, said the mv. Luke Burton reported a man overboard at Mile 981 of the Ohio River from a 26-foot crew boat. The Luke Burton is owned by Canal Barge Company of New Orleans, La., according to the 2022 Inland River Record.
The Coast Guard closed the river between Ohio River Mile 981 and Lower Mississippi River Mile 950 while it assisted in search efforts. The river was reopened the next day.
Morgan was reported to be wearing a personal floatation device, but it was not zipped or buckled at the time, Richardson said. The boat was recovered with assistance from a crane on a nearby barge.
Richardson noted that the river is currently above flood stage, making the search for Morgan more difficult.
Conservation officers assisted the Ballard County Sheriff’s Office, Ballard County Rescue, Carlisle County Rescue and McCracken County Rescue in recovering the boat and attempting to locate Morgan. Volunteers continued the search for several days.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to Tyler’s family, and we appreciate the outreach extended by the inland waterways community to the family, team members, and first responders,” PTL Marine said in a statement. “During the course of an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further.”
The Ballard Memorial High School classes of 1995, 1997 and 2017 held a joint prayer service for Morgan’s family March 9 at the Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross in Wickliffe and collected donations for the family. Donations may be made to the “Tyler and Kelli Morgan Special Savings Account” at Signet Federal credit Union, P.O. Box 574, Wickliffe, Ky. 42087 or at any FCB Bank with donations specified for the Tyler Morgan Family Fund.