Coast Guard reopens Mississippi River to towboat traffic

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The Coast Guard says it has reopened the Mississippi River to north and southbound towboat traffic following the completion of oil removal operations following a barge crash and the resultant oil spill.

The Captain of the Port reduced the safety zone to one mile centered on either side of the two barges with no passing or overtaking within the zone.

“The Coast Guard is no longer actively managing the flow of towboat traffic and we are minimizing the safety zone to a one-mile distance to ensure the safety of response crews still working on the MOC-12 barge,” said Capt. William Drelling, Federal On Scene Commander for the Vicksburg oil spill, in a statement.

The light crude oil product in the tank barges MOC-12 and MOC-15 was effectively removed to complete damage assessments and temporary repairs to prepare them for transit to a waiting marine facility. The barges will be moved following approval of a transit plan.

The Coast Guard investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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