On Saturday night the Coast Guard Command Center in Memphis was notified by the towing vessel A. DEAN HEASLEY that one of the two barges they were towing had struck the Riverside Park Marina
. Coast Guard investigators were dispatched to the scene of the accident. The marina sustained significant damage but no injuries were reported.
The marina holds many houseboats and is home to approximately 60 people. Many of the boats were affected by the accident with one reported to be taking on water.
The two tank barges, which were empty at the time of the accident, were being towed to the refinery in the port for a scheduled loading. West-Northwest winds of 15 mph were reported last night and may have been a factor in the casualty.
The crew of the towing vessel was tested on scene by the Coast Guard for evidence of alcohol with negative results. Mandatory drug testing of the crew was also ordered by the towing vessel company, the results are pending. The Coast Guard and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will coordinate on the marine casualty investigation into the circumstances surrounding this accident.