On January 3, the 55 meter long towboat Joe Bobzien ran aground on the Mississippi River near Caruthersville, Missouri. The Joe Bobzien was pushing 35 barges when it went struck bottom. The barges broke free causing traffic to stop along a 30 mile stretch of the river. Reports state multiple vessels were deployed to assist recovering the barges. No reports of injuries, damage or pollution released. The Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the incident.
On May 27, the 40 foot long towboat sank on the Mississippi River off Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The vessel had sunk during the early morning hours with no one on board. The vessel had some 150 gallons of fuel on board and the Coast Guard was monitoring to see if any pollution has been released. Reports state the Little Mike sank outside the navigation channel and does not intefere with river traffic. The owners have stated they will wait until the river level drops before salvage begins.
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)