Sunken barges force closure of Ohio River near Louisville

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — The Coast Guard has closed the Ohio River today from mile marker 603.5 to 608, to all vessel traffic due to a towboat incident which resulted in two sunken barges near the entrance to the Portland Canal.

At approximately 1:45 p.m. today, the pilot of the towing vessel Jerry Tinkey, reported that they had two of their lead barges sink while in tow.  The vessel was up-river exiting the Portland Canal with twelve loaded non-hazardous cargoes when the incident occurred.  No injuries or hazardous chemical pollution have occurred as a result of the barge sinking.

The Coast Guard will re-open the river to vessel traffic in the affected area upon determination that the navigational channel is clear and safe for vessel transit.

Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley is working with the vessel pilot and vessel owner, Ingram Barge Company to mitigate vessel traffic restrictions and develop a recovery plan for the sunken barges.

Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley is currently investigating the cause of the incident.

By Professional Mariner Staff