Tug sinks, injuries reported, navigation restricted on Upper Mississippi

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(ST. LOUIS) — The Coast Guard has established a temporary Safety Zone on the Upper Mississippi River to all vessel traffic from the Chain of Rocks Lock & Dam at mile marker 185.5 to mile marker 197.5 following the sinking of the tug boat Hartford Beaver at mile marker 197 earlier today. Vessel traffic is permitted to transit with restrictions through the area.

Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a call at 3:30 p.m. from a representative of National Maintenance and Repair, the owner of the tug boat, stating that one of their vessels had sank. All three crewmembers aboard the vessel were rescued with minor injuries by company personnel that were on scene at the time of the incident.

The Hartford Beaver has been located and marked with a lighted buoy. National Maintenance and Repair, Okie Moore Salvage Company, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard will meet tomorrow to discuss salvage and recovery operations. Minor pollution has been reported at the site of the sinking and the Safety Zone will remain in place until the river is deemed safe for normal operations by the captain of the port.

Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River dispatched two investigating officers to the National Maintenance and Repair main facility and are currently investigating the cause of the incident.

By Professional Mariner Staff