The ferry MCY capsized and sank off Efate Island near Mangaliliu, Vanuatu. The ferry left Malekula to Port Vila loaded with fuel and cargo with 41 passengers and crew on board. After travelling several kilometers out to sea, the MCY’s engines failed. The ferry drifted for several hours when it rolled over and sank in 350 meters of water. No distress call was sent by the vessel, but a passenger used a mobile phone to call the police station in Port Vila. A rescue vessel was dispatched and picked up 37 survivors and were taken to Port Vila. Three passengers and one crewman perished. Reports state the ferry had made repairs to a hole in the hull prior to leaving Malekula. Unconfirmed reports state the repairs failed to stop the water ingress resulting in the loss of stability. Also, the ferry was overloaded as it was rated only to carry up to 30 passengers. The Vanuatu Prime Minister has vowed a full investigation into the incident.
A string of barges struck the Martin Luther King Bridge spanning the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri. The empty barges were headed upstream when they struck a support beam of the MLK bridge causing it to be closed to traffic. The nearby Eads bridge was also closed to traffic as witnesses reported that the barges had made contact a swell. One witness stated the impact sounded like an explosion. An inspection of the bridges found there was no damage except some scrapes to the scaffolding under the rail deck. Traffic was allowed on both bridges a few hours later.
The cause of the allision was under investigation. Reports state the barges had passed under the bridges at an unusual angle. A later USCG report stated that debris had jammed the towboat’s rudder resulting in the allision.
- Stranded Barges Close Two Bridges for Over an Hour (stlouis.cbslocal.com)
- Barge strikes MLK Bridge, forces closures (kmov.com)
- Barge Strikes Bridge; Mississippi River Closed in Iowa (marinelink.com)
A 50 foot long barge sank on the Chicago River near the LaSalle Street bridge, Chicago, Illinois. The barge was being used in construction along the riverwalk when it suffered a leak. The water ingress was uncontrolled and the barge sank. No reports of injuries. Booms were placed around the sunken barge to contain any pollution. Divers were requested and will pump air and refloat the barge in a few days.
- Construction Barge Sinks In Chicago River (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Construction barge sinks in Chicago River near LaSalle Street Bridge (abc7chicago.com)