Coast Guard oversees removal of two breakaway barges on Monongahela River

8th Coast Guard District NewsPITTSBURGH — The Coast Guard oversaw the removal of two barges, Thursday, that broke away following an allision on the Monongahela River.

The salvage crews coordinating the recovery of the submerged barge remained on scene overnight, and recovery efforts resumed early this morning.

A safety zone has been established by the Captain of the Port Pittsburgh and will remain in effect on the Ohio River from mile marker 0.0 to mile marker 0.2, extending 1,000 feet off the left descending bank.

The full width of the Monongahela River from mile marker 0.0 to mile marker 1.2 is closed to all traffic with the exception of salvage crews.

The sunken barge remains a hazard to navigation and the towing vessel James Garrett, which is responsible for coordinating salvage operations, will illuminate the location throughout the night.

Requests for transit through the safety zone are being evaluated by the Captain of the Port on a case-by-case basis.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., Thursday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report that the towing vessel Marge Mcfarlin, owned and operated by Ingram Barge Company, allided with the Liberty Highway Bridge at mile marker 1.1 on the Monongahela River, while pushing 12 loaded coal barges. The allision resulted in two barges breaking away. The remaining barges are safely contained.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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