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Coast Guard closes the Intracoastal Waterway near Berwick

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Posted at 3:37 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 16:48:36-05

The Coast Guard says they are responding to a report of a towing vessel that ran aground on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW) at mile marker 99, near Berwick on Monday.

Officials say that Watchstanders at Vessel Traffic Service Berwick Bay received the report about 10:00 p.m., Sunday, that the towing vessel Miss Odessa, which was carrying six hopper barges filled with rock, ran aground.

The Miss Odessa was reportedly transiting south-bound on the Atchafalaya River when it turned west onto the GICW 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 Monday morning, according to a release. The Coast Guard says that the response teams reported no damage to the Miss Odessa or other five barges.

No pollution has been reported in the area.

The 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, 6 westbound, 28 eastbound and 4 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.