Breakaway barge salvage continues at Emsworth Locks and Dams

Six months after heavy ice flows on the Ohio River sent a multibarge breakaway into the Emsworth Locks and Dams, River Salvage Co. Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., continues to clear sunken barges.

The bow section of a sunken barge is raised by the barge Big Al at the Emsworth Locks and Dams. Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District/Thomas Bayle photo

The bow section of a sunken barge is raised by the barge Big Al at the Emsworth Locks and Dams. Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District/Thomas Bayle photo

The Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District released photos July 10 showing the work, which is ongoing and has no affect on navigation. In the images, a River Salvage towboat, the 80’x26’, 2,000-hp James Garrett, maneuvers and holds equipment, including the barge crane Big Al, to remove a section of one of three remaining barges on the front channel early this week.

Planning and preparations continue to remove two other barges, and one barge that remains submerged on the back channel, where it came to rest after the breakaway at an upstream fleeting area Jan. 13. Each empty barge weighs around 300 tons, according to Corps officials.

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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