Capsized Towboat Closes Lock on Tennessee River

Kentucky Lock and Dam (file image courtesy TVA)

By The Maritime Executive 01-09-2019 03:39:51

The Kentucky Lock and Dam on the Tennessee River has been closed to traffic after a small towboat capsized downstream.

On Tuesday night, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report that the towboat Tom Bussler had capsized at mile marker 15 on the Tennessee River. Another towboat, the George Leavell, rescued the Bussler's two crewmembers and brought them safely to shore at Calvert City Landing. They were transported to shore in stable condition. 

The Bussler has an estimated 4,100 gallons of diesel fuel on board, but no pollution has yet been reported. One Coast Guard patrol vessel is on scene to monitor the casualty. 

Due to the sinking, the Kentucky Lock and Dam - located several miles upstream from the site of the casualty - has ceased locking operations. Kentucky Lock is the lower gateway to 700 miles of navigable waters in the Tennessee River Basin, and it connects the Tennessee with more than 300 miles of water in the adjacent Cumberland River Basin.

Commercial salvor McGinnish Marine is currently developing a salvage plan for the Bussler