The 155 foot long towboat Jeffrey G with its string of 30 barges allided with the old bridge over the Mississippi River at Viscksburg, Mississippi. The Jeffrey G was heading downriver when it struck the bridge with several barges breaking free. One barge loaded with grain sank while several other barges floated downriver. Other towboats were able to recover the barges that broke free. No reports of injuries. Reports state the barges did not contain any hazardous materials. The Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the incident.
On January 24, the 42 meter long towboat George King caught fire on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Mississippi. The fire started in the vessel’s engine room and quickly engulfed the superstructure. The nine crew on board were able escape the flames by climbing onto the barges being pushed by the George King. The 168 foot long towboat Michael Reeves came to their assistance and pushed the George King ashore onto the river bank. No reports of injuries.
The Coast Guard along with other local and state authorities arrived on scene a short time later. River traffic was restricted while authorities extinguished the blaze. A boom and absorbent pads were placed around the George King to contain any pollution. Reports state there was 65,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board the George King.
The fire had gutted most the towboat’s superstructure and no reports if the George King will be salvaged or scrapped.
On May 23, the 52 meter long towboat Graestone Express allided with a bridge on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Mississippi. The towboat was pushing 14 barges loaded with coal or grain when it struck the bridge. Some 11 barges broke loose, but later corralled onto the nearby riverbank. No reports of injuries.
Traffic was halted over the bridge and and all nearby vessel traffic on the river. Inspectors found the bridge to be safe. All traffic resumed after a few hours. No reports of damage or pollution released.