The Coast Guard and local agencies were continuing to monitor the situation at mile marker 390 on the Lower Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Miss., Friday, after a fire aboard the towboat George King had been extinguished.
The waterway restriction between mile marker 395 and mile marker 380 was lifted on Thursday at 12:28 p.m. On Thursday mid-morning the waterway restriction was put in place with a queue of nine vessels upbound and three vessels downbound.
United States Environmental Services has set boom and absorbent pads around the George King with no reports of pollution.
Nine crew members were safely evacuated from the towboat fire Wednesday night, climbing onto dry cargo barges as the George King went up in flames from an engine room fire.
The 138’x44’x11’, 6,140-hp towboat, operated by Marquette Transportation Co. LLC, Paducah, Ky., was at mile marker 390 when watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi were notified of the fire at 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, according to Coast Guard officials.
With the crew safe on the barges, another Marquette vessel, the 168’x40’x11’, 6,140-hp C. Michael Reeves, was able to push the George King and its tow onto the river’s left descending bank. No injuries were reported, according to the Coast Guard.
A combined response to the George King and the reported 65,000 gals. of diesel fuel on board included the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Vicksburg, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Budwine & Associates, Inc., Covington, La, and United States Environmental Services, Houston.