Towboat hits riverbank, six barges break free

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

(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) — The Coast Guard is responding to a barge breakaway at mile marker 501.6 near Greenville, Miss., on Monday.

The tow vessel Big J.O. struck the bank of the Mississippi River, resulting in four empty barges and two barges loaded with urea ammonium nitrate breaking loose.

The Mississippi River is closed from mile marker 503 to mile marker 490.

One of the loaded barges is reportedly sinking. Four barges have been secured.

Good Samaritan vessels are assisting to retrieve the remaining unsecured barge.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff