Coast Guard establishes safety zone on Mississippi River for sunken barge salvage

Coast Guard District 8 NewsMAYERSVILLE, Miss. — The Coast Guard established a safety zone on a portion of the lower Mississippi River, Friday, for salvage operations to remove a barge that broke away from an uninspected towing vessel and sank.

Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River received a report at approximately midnight, on Sept. 21, 2011, that the UTV Kay A. Eckstein had three barges break away from the tow in the vicinity of mile marker 480. One barge, loaded with coal, sank 150 feet inside the red buoy line at mile marker 480.6. An assist vessel recovered the other two barges.

The safety zone on the Mississippi River extends from mile marker 479 to mile marker 482 to allow for the safe removal of the sunken barge.

The waterway will be restricted to one-way transits at the slowest safe speed through the safety zone.

All concerned mariners may contact the on-scene salvage vessel, James Garrett, at 412-721-9815 or Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River at 901-521-4824 for more information.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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