Towboat Crew Rescued After Rock Dike Allision

First responders rescued six people from a towboat February 17 after it became stuck on a rock dike in the Lower Mississippi River near Columbus, Ky.

Hickman County (Ky.) 911 dispatched the Hickman County Office of Emergency Mangement to a report of a boat in distress about 7:30 p.m. that day.

“A Marquette Transportation vessel struck a dike, resulting in a few barges breaking loose from the tow and the vessel becoming stuck near Wolf Island,” according to a post on the Hickman County Emergency Management Facebook page. “The vessel was sitting on the dike, causing the boat to be unstable, so the crew decided they needed assistance to return to land safely.”

All six crew members were taken to the Columbus boat ramp and checked over by an ambulance crew, according to the post.

Lt. John Nolan, prevention department head for the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit Paducah, said the vessel was the mv. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and that it ran aground on the dike at Lower Mississippi Mile 934, near Wolf Island. No one was reported injured, he said.

The boat had a tow of six barges, all carrying rock, Nolan said. Three barges broke free. Two were quickly recovered, and the third remained on the dike a few days later, he said.

There was no closure to the navigational channel as the dike is on the far side of Wolf Island, opposite that of the navigational channel, he said. However, a broadcast notice to mariners was sent out February 21 urging caution in the area.

Nolan said an investigation into the cause of the incident was underway, and that Marquette was recovering the barge from the dike.

The rock dike is well charted and known to industry, he said.

The Hickman County Office of Emergency Management wished to thank responding crews from the Ballard and Carlisle offices of emergency management, the Columbus Volunteer Fire Department, the HIckman County Sheriff’s Department, Hickman County Fire & Rescue, the Clinton-Hickman County Emergency Medical Service, the Carlisle County Rescue Squad as well as one individual, Mike Grimmitt.