MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Coast Guard is responding to a towboat allision with the Natchez-Vidalia U.S. 84 Bridge on the Mississippi River, near Natchez, Miss. Thursday.
Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River watchstanders received a call about an allision involving the Amy Francis and the Natchez-Vidalia U.S. 84 Bridge at mile marker 363 on the Mississippi River at 1:02 p.m., Thursday.
The towing vessel Amy Francis was transporting six barges, four reportedly loaded with slurry oil and two reported to be empty, which allided with the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge.
The allision caused damage to at least one barge containing slurry oil, and discharging an unknown amount into the Mississippi River. An oily sheen was reportedly observed in the vicinity of the allision. The Coast Guard is working with State and Local agencies, the barge owner to determine the amount of slurry oil that has been discharged.
The barge reportedly has a maximum potential of up to 1,006,026 gallons of slurry oil on board.
The Captain of the Port has issued a waterway restriction from mile marker 363 near Natchez, MS north to mile marker 438 near Vicksburg, MS. The restriction is for towboats pushing barges to not transit under the bridges.
The incident is under investigation.