Multiple barges break free from fleeting area near St. Louis


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

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard and local agencies responded to a multi-barge breakaway Wednesday in the vicinity of mile markers 176 and 177 on the Upper Mississippi River near St. Louis, Mo. 

Watch standers at Sector Upper Mississippi River received the report at 3 a.m. that there was a multi-barge breakaway from a fleeting area on the Upper Mississippi River. 

Multiple towing vessels in the area worked together to account for and secure all the loose barges. 

The Coast Guard initially closed the river for the safety of those on the waterway, however all loose barges have been accounted for and the river has been reopened. 

There is no report of pollution or injuries. 

“The Coast Guard works closely with our port partners and local law enforcement to properly manage incidents like this,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kathryn McCormack, the incident commander representing Sector Upper Mississippi River. “Anyone on the water should maintain vigilance while operating on the waterway.” 

The cause of this incident remains under investigation. 

Involved in the response were: 

Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River
Illinois State Police
Missouri Department of Transportation
River Industry Action Committee
Signal Hill Fire Department

By Professional Mariner Staff