Mississippi River remains closed to all vessel traffic near St. Genevieve, Mo.

ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Marquette Transportation are working together today to locate a sunken barge that has resulted in the closure of the Upper Mississippi River from mile marker 130 to 145, approximately 20 miles north of St. Genevieve.

17 vessels are currently waiting the reopening of the river.

Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River, the Army Corp of Engineers and the vessel owner, Marquette Transportation, are working to complete an underwater survey of the area in an attempt to locate the sunken barge.

The Army Corp of Engineers is utilizing its survey boat, the Motor Vessel Boyer, which is equipped with state-of-the-art multi-beam sonar that can scan across the channel, mapping the bottom in detail.

The Motor Vessel Boyer got under way from the Corps Service Base at the Foot of Arsenal in St. Louis this morning and arrived on scene at 8 a.m. The team is surveying a 300-foot wide section along both sides of the channel center from mile 145 to mile 137. The survey is expected to be complete this afternoon around 1 p.m.

Upon confirmation that the river is safe for navigation, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port will reopen the river to vessel traffic.

The Coast Guard was notified Sunday morning that the towboat John Paul Eckstein, lost power and ran its 25 barge tow into a dock near mile mark 144, approximately 20 miles from St. Genevieve.

As a result of the accident, the tow broke apart and all 25 barges were set adrift.

All the barges were recovered, except for one loaded grain barge which remains missing and presumed sunk.

Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River is investigating the cause of the accident.

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