Towboat goes down on the Ohio River

The Coast Guard’s Eighth District reported this morning that it had responded to the sinking of a towing vessel on the Ohio River near Golconda, Ill., at approximately 8 p.m. Wednesday night.

Coast Guard Sector Ohio River Valley watchstanders were notified that the 56’6″ towing vessel David Dunnigan sank while working near mile marker 897.5. The David Dunnigan reportedly capsized, sank and drifted down river. The exact location of the sunken vessel was unknown as of Thursday morning. Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Captain of the Port, Capt. Richard Timme, said the Coast Guard has restricted vessel operations from mile marker 896.5 to mile marker 900 on the Ohio River as a precaution until the position of the vessel is determined.

The towing vessel is reportedly carrying an estimated 3,000 gals. of fuel oil on board. 

By afternoon, there was a published report claiming a barge sank at the same location, but a Coast Guard spokesperson with the Eighth District said it had no reports of a barge sinking, “It’s just the towboat,” he said. The spokesman said the vessel was owned by Knight Manufacturing, Rosiclare, Ill.

Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah, Ky., are on scene and are supervising response and recovery efforts. No injuries have been reported.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

About the author

Ken Hocke

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.

1 Comment

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    Ken, Are you aware of any towboat companies that offer passenger service. I’ve always wanted to spend a few days on the Ohio on a work boat.

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