Coast Guard reopens Lower Mississippi River after barge sinks

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard reopened the portion of the Lower Mississippi River that was effected by a sunken barge from mile marker 218 to 222, to limited vessel traffic.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a callĀ  approximately 12:30 a.m. from American Commercial Lines reporting that a barge had broken its tow from the tug boat Carol P and was sinking.

The Coast Guard safety zone remains in effect and limits traffic to barges and small traffic with less than a 20-foot draft. However, deep draft vessel traffic is still restricted in that portion of the river and all vessels transiting the safety zone are requested to operate at the slowest, safest possible speed.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge responded to the incident and determined that vessel traffic was not at risk from the sunken barge.

There is no report of pollution or injury.

The Army Corps of Engineers is assisting the Coast Guard in surveying the scene of the incident.

The cause of the sunken barge is under investigation.

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