Collision Near Plaquemine, La., Closes GIWW Port Allen Route

The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) alternate route between Morgan City, La., and the Port Allen Lock near Baton Rouge was closed to marine traffic September 17 and much of September 18 following a collision between a northbound tow and a southbound tow that left the channel partially blocked and two barges damaged.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the mv. Jack Odom was southbound and the mv. Creole Crusader was northbound when the two tows collided at about 12:30 a.m. September 17 near Mile 43.5 in the vicinity of Jack Miller’s Landing in Plaquemine, La.

The Jack Odom was pushing two empties and three barges loaded with steel bars, while the Creole Crusader was pushing two barges loaded with heavy fuel oil, the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard reported that two of the barges involved in the collision “were intentionally grounded to prevent flooding or pollution.” Both vessels and all seven barges remained on scene. There were no injuries or pollution reported following the incident.

LeBeouf Brothers Towing (LBT) was contracted to conduct lightering operations of the damaged tank barge. The LBT vessel arrived on scene early September 18, with cargo transfer operations beginning around 6:45 a.m.

With lightering operations complete, the Coast Guard reopened the waterway at about 7:30 p.m. September 18, with both the Creole Crusader and Jack Odom getting underway at that time. All the barges involved have been removed from the area. A Coast Guard spokesperson said the cause of the collision is still under investigation.