Coast Guard continues restrictions on Mississippi River after boat sinks

ST. LOUIS – The Coast Guard has established a temporary safety zone on the Upper Mississippi River from mile marker 194.5 to 197.5 in response to the sinking of the tug boat Hartford Beaver at mile marker 196.5 on Wednesday, March 11, 2009. At this time, only one-way vessel traffic is permitted to transit through the area.

Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a call at approximately 3:30 p.m. Wednesday 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 who were on scene at the time of the incident.

The tug boat Hartford Beaver has been marked with a lighted buoy, and is being monitored by the tug boat Eager Beaver. A survey has been conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers to help assist with salvage and recovery operations.

A Coast Guard smallboat remains on scene to monitor the situation and enforce the safety zone. No visible pollution has been observed and the safety zone will remain in place until the river is deemed safe for normal operations by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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