Sunken Barge Impacts Larger Tows At Upper Miss Mile 49

A barge that sank May 8 prevented the passage of larger tows on the Upper Mississippi River at Mile 49.

The Coast Guard received notification from Excell Marine at 11:35 a.m. May 8 that a barge in a fleeting area had begun taking on water for unknown reasons.

“It led it to break away, and then it ended up sinking in the middle of the channel,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally, a Coast Guard spokesman. “Traffic was unable to transit through the area at the time.”

The barge was carrying powdered cement, Lally said.

It was estimated to take roughly two days to salvage once operations began.

The waterway was reopened to vessels with tows of 12 or fewer barges by the next day, Lally said.

He noted that the area was not a heavily trafficked portion of the river and so had not caused major issues.