Coast Guard closes the Intracoastal Waterway after towboat grounding

The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a towing vessel that ran aground on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at mile marker 99, near Berwick, La., Monday.

Watchstanders at Vessel Traffic Service Berwick Bay received a report at approximately 10 p.m., Sunday, that the towing vessel Miss Odessa, carrying six hopper barges filled with rock, ran aground. The barges are reportedly owned by American Commercial Barge Line.

The Miss Odessa was reportedly transiting southbound on the Atchafalaya River when it turned west onto the GIWW and hit bottom. The Miss Odessa, in an attempt to break free, tore apart one of the barges, the ACL 01700, causing the barge to split in half. The steel barge is 200’x35’x12′.

Members from Marine Safety Unit Morgan City’s marine inspections team and investigations team arrived on scene at 8:30 a.m., Monday, to assess the incident. The response teams reported no damage to the Miss Odessa or other five barges. No pollution has been reported in the area.

The Coast Guard has secured all tow traffic in the location of the barge.

The vessel queue as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, was 12 southbound, six westbound, 28 eastbound and four northbound.

The towing vessel company has hired a salvage company to assist in the salvage of the barge. A Coast Guard salvage engineering response team is also assisting.

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