Coast Guard reopens Mississippi River after 22-barge breakaway

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard has reopened the Mississippi River to one-way traffic from mile marker 50 to mile marker 52, near West Point a la Hache, on Thursday night.

Vessels planning to transit the area should contact the tow vessel Kyle Joseph to make transit arrangements.

The Mississippi River was closed Tuesday between mile markers 50 to 53 in response to a 22-barge breakaway.

As a result of the breakaway, the deep-draft motor vessels Q Jake, Serena P and Ocean Tomo sustained damage after barges that broke away collided with them. A portion of dry-bulk soybeans from one of the vessels entered the river and the release has since been secured. The three affected deep-draft vessels are safely anchored.

All 22 barges were loaded with coal and petroleum coke, a coal-like substance. All of the barges have been accounted for and secured except one that is pushed up against the left descending bank.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff