The Coast Guard assisted local agencies with the response to a waterfront restaurant, Friday, March 11,that broke away from its mooring with 84 people onboard on the Ohio River.
At approximately 10:15 p.m., watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report from the Covington, Ky., Fire Department that the Jeff Ruby's Waterfront Restaurant had broken away from its mooring at mile marker 471 on the Ohio River. The barge floated approximately 85 yards downstream where it rested beneath the C.W. Bailey Bridge. The bridge was inspected by Kentucky Department of Transportation, and no damage was reported.
Local towboats and firefighters from the Covington Fire Department stabilized the barge and evacuated the passengers and crewmembers from the barge. The first responders secured a ladder to the restaurant's gangway to allow the passengers to evacuate one at a time. All passengers were evacuated safely with no injuries or medical concerns.
Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Cincinnati and a Boone County, Ky., water rescue crew remained on immediate standby to aid first responders. The Coast Guard, the owner of the restaurant and local authorities are working on a recovery plan to safely remove the restaurant from beneath the bridge and move it to a temporary mooring. The vessel is not blocking the waterway.
"We commend our partners in the Covington Fire Department and McGinniss Towing for executing a quick response and recovery of both the structure and the people," said Lt. Joseph Reinhart, supervisor, MSD Cincinnati. "We will continue to work with local and state agencies to ensure that the vessel is safely moved back to its home berth."
The cause of the incident is under investigation.