Towing Vessel Grounds in Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Louisiana

Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Published Feb 3, 2020 8:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

A towing vessel ran aground on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at mile marker 99, near Berwick, Louisiana, on 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 Miss Odessa was reportedly transiting south-bound on the Atchafalaya River when she turned west onto the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and hit bottom. The Miss Odessa, in an attempt to break free, tore apart the barge, causing the barge to split in half.

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 the other five barges. No pollution has been reported in the area.

The U.S. 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 the salvage of the barge. A Coast Guard salvage engineering response team is also assisting.