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Monday, January 22, 2018

Lower Mississippi News

Coast Guard Responds to Lower Mississippi River Collision

The Coast Guard and local agencies are responding to a collision between two towing vessels on the Lower Mississippi River near Memphis, Monday afternoon. Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River command center received a notification of a collision between the towing vessels Margaret Ann and the William Strait at mile marker 727 on the Lower Mississippi River. The William Straight sank in 20 feet of water. A Coast Guard 25-foot small boat crew from the Sector Lower Mississippi River along with an HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama and local pollution response agencies are on scene responding. A safety zone has been established from mile markers 726 to 728. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

Barge Allision in Mississippi River Causes Spill

Coast Guard responds to report of crude oil in Mississippi River. A unified command has been established in response to a report of crude oil in the lower Mississippi River near mile marker 434 in Vicksburg, Miss., Sunday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River received notification at 1:30 a.m., reporting that two tank barges, towed by the tug Nature's Way Endeavor, allided with the Vicksburg Railroad river bridge. Both of the tank barges were loaded with crude oil; both of the barges were damaged, and one has released oil into lower Mississippi River. The actual amount of product released into the lower Mississippi River has not yet been determined.

USCG Searching for 2 Trapped Under Sunken Barge

The Coast Guard, along with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Mississippi County, Ark. Sheriff's Department, are searching for two people in the water near a sunken barge in Hickman Landing Wednesday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River received a report at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday that two people became trapped beneath a barge that flipped and sank in the Mississippi River. Sector Lower Mississippi River directed the launch of a 25-foot Response Boat — Small boatcrew to search for the two men along with joint agency boatcrews. The Mississippi River is closed from mile marker 815 to mile marker 825 to aid in the search efforts. “This reminds us of the dangers mariners face while working on the river,” said Capt.

Search for 2 Missing persons on Lower Mississippi River

Photo USCG

The Coast Guard and local rescue agencies are searching for two people in a fishing vessel near mile marker 363 on the Lower Mississippi River, in Claiborne County, Miss., Friday. Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River received a report from the Claiborne County Sheriff office at 10:46 a.m., Thursday that a fishing vessel with two people aboard was overdue. Last contact with the vessel was at 12 a.m., Wednesday as they were leaving Bayou Pierre and entering the Lower Mississippi River at mile marker 395. The boat is an 18 ft.

Towing Vessels Collide on Lower Mississippi

One of two towing vessels involved in a collision on the Lower Mississippi River has sunk near Memphis, Monday afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies are responding   Coast Guard watchstanders received a notification of a collision between the towing vessels Margaret Ann and the William Strait at mile marker 727 on the Lower Mississippi River. The William Straight sank in 20 feet of water.   A Coast Guard 25-foot small boat crew from the Sector Lower Mississippi River along with an HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama and local pollution response agencies are on scene responding.   A safety zone has been established from mile markers 726 to 728.   The cause of the incident is under imvestigation.

Coast Guard Advises Western River Closures, Restrictions

File image: a Mississippi River fleeting operation. (WCI)

The United States Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois.

USCG Seeks Applications for LMRWSAC

The US Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Committee (LMRWSAC). The LMRWSAC advises to agency on matters relating to navigation safety on the Lower Mississippi River. Applications should reach the Coast Guard by December 14. [Source: HK Law]

WCI Chairman Issues Statement

Rick Calhoun, President of Cargo Carriers (Cargill) and Chairman of Waterways Council, Inc., released a statement today regarding the state of emergency on the Lower Mississippi River. “The inland waterways navigation system is the most important transportation asset in the United States and is vital to the economic well-being of this country,” Calhoun said.  “We urgently call on the Federal government today to take all necessary steps to provide funding for this national transportation asset and to allow the Lower Mississippi River to remain fully open for commerce.”

US Western Rivers Closures, Restrictions

Image USCG

The Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. * Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. * Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois.

Collision on lower Mississippi River

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a Press Release stating that on February 10, a towboat pushing seven barges collided with a freighter on the lower Mississippi River near Donaldsonville, Louisiana. The towboat and one barge sank. The crewmembers were rescued. The freighter incurred minor damage. Light pollution has been observed. The incident is under investigation. Source: HK Law

UPDATE: Coast Guard Responding Mississippi Allision / Spill

The unified command continues to respond to a crude oil spill in the lower Mississippi River near mile marker 434 in Vicksburg, Miss., Monday. Tank soundings indicated that the barge is still leaking product into the waterway. Containment boom has been deployed around the area at the leak and skimmers are being used to recover product. Personnel from Sector Lower Mississippi River, Marine Safety Detachment Vicksburg and the Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team from Mobile, Ala., are on scene and continue to assess the size of the spill and oversee cleanup operation. The tank levels are being constantly monitored for further leakage. The leaking tank contained approximately 80,000 gallons of light crude oil.

LEGAL: FMC Investigates Exclusive Tug Agreements

The Federal Maritime Commission, or FMC, is currently making a formal investigation into exclusive tug franchise arrangements in ports in Florida and the lower Mississippi River area. The issue is whether these licenses, with which marine terminal operators grant exclusive towing licenses to certain tug companies, are unreasonably anticompetitive and violate the Shipping Act of 1984. The FMC initially began an inquiry into supposed exclusive franchise agreements involving some tug operators and dry bulk terminals on the lower Mississippi River, but this investigation soon lead to inquiries into the practices of two Florida Ports, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades.

MEMCO Christens Joy Anne Keller

MEMCO Barge Line, the inland barging subsidiary of Electric Fuels Corp. (EFC), christened a new towboat in New Orleans. M/V Joy Anne Keller, named after the wife of EFC President and CEO Richard D. Keller is the 22nd towboat in MEMCO's fleet. Built by Quality Shipyards, of Houma, La., the 8,000 hp twin-screw towboat measures 180 x 48 x 11.5 ft., and is designed to operate on the Lower Mississippi River between Cairo and New Orleans. MEMCO Barge Line, the inland barging subsidiary of Electric Fuels Corp. (EFC), christened a new towboat in New Orleans. M/V Joy Anne Keller, named after the wife of EFC President and CEO Richard D. Keller is the 22nd towboat in MEMCO's fleet.

New Barge Fleeting and Switching Operation in Cairo Harbor

American River Transportation Company (ARTCO), a subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), today announced plans to launch new barge fleeting and switching operations in the Cairo, Illinois, harbor starting January 1, 2016. The Cairo harbor is a vital hub in the inland waterway supply chain. The new operation will be based in Wickliffe, Kentucky, and will provide fleeting and switching operations from mile 948 on the Lower Mississippi River to mile 29 on the Upper Mississippi and mile 974 on the Ohio River. “ARTCO is the only company in the inland waterway system that can provide a self-contained supply chain to our customers, which allows us to provide better, more efficient and cost-effective service,” said Jason Porter, vice president, ARTCO operations.

DREDGE Act of 2012 Introduced

New Legislation Aimed at Building Wetlands while Deepening Mississippi River in anticipation of Panama Canal Expansion completion. Congressman Cedric Richmond ha introduced the DREDGE Act of 2012-Dredging for Restoration and Economic Development for Global Exports. The bill would give the Army Corps of Engineers the authorization to dredge the Mississippi River to 50 feet so that larger vessels transiting the expanded Panama Canal can access the River. In addition, the bill creates a pilot project to promote the rebuilding of wetlands using existing sediment dredged from the River. “The Mississippi River is undoubtedly the most important river in the United States,” said Congressman Richmond.

Dredging 24/7 to Keep Mississippi Open

US Army Corps of Engineers battle extreme low-water conditions to keep the river' scommercial navigation moving. Five dredges are kept moving rapidly from one trouble spot to another to keep up with dynamic low water operational demands, the Corps is also working very closely with the navigation industry and the U.S. Coast Guard to communicate concerns, groundings and changing conditions to avoid accidents and river closures. Unless additional rainfall occurs, the latest long-range forecast calls for river conditions to continue to fall through the end of August with new low-water records possible at several key navigation points along the lower Mississippi between Cairo, Ill., and Baton Rouge.

Coast Guard Response to Vicksburg Spill Continues

The unified command continues to respond to a crude oil spill in the lower Mississippi River near mile marker 436 in Vicksburg, Miss., Thursday. At 10:05 a.m. response crews removed fuel from the damaged barge MOC-12 after reconfiguring oil-pump equipment. Following completion of the oil removal operations the damaged barge will be inspected and prepared for transit to a maritime facility in nearby Vicksburg. The MOC-15 barge has been moved upriver from the MOC-12 oil removal operation and is waiting for transportation to a maritime facility.

Frelinghuysen Directs Corps To Maintain Lower Miss. River

The Big River Coalition praised the efforts of the Chairman of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee and the entire Louisiana Congressional delegation for their efforts to have the U.S. Corps of Engineers maintain the Lower Mississippi River to its project dimension. As the House of Representatives considers a Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal government through Sept. 30, U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of N.J., Chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, urged the Corps to direct funding to properly dredge and maintain the Lower Mississippi River. “I want to assure my colleagues that I have provided sufficient flexibility within the $2.361…

Marine Salvage Forum to be Held in New Orleans

The U.S. Firefighting Awareness Forum July 15 - 16, from 8 a.m. Delgado Community College City Park campus. concerning marine salvage and firefighting efforts. event of a marine casualty. agencies in response to a marine casualty. strategies. Firefighting Plan.

MariTEL Expands Services

MariTEL is nearing completion of its Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi region’s marine wireless VHF radiotelephone network. Launched in June 2001, the network provides mariners affordable and reliable direct dial, automatically connected marine telephone calls vessel location and touch tone services. By the end of 2001, the region will have 29 sites providing coverage from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Sarasota, Fla. Six more towers slated for completion in Spring 2002 will provide uninterrupted marine telecommunications coverage from the Mexican border to Ft. Myers, Fla., and the lower Mississippi River to Memphis, Tenn. MariTEL will introduce its privacy service later this month and e-mail service in March 2002. Privacy service will completely scramble a MariTEL VHF radiotelephone call.

Lower Mississippi Exclusive Tug Franchise Ruling

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an Order stating that the ALJ is recommending that the Commission approve settlement of allegations against Cargill, Incorporated that it violated the Shipping Act of 1984 by engaging in an exclusive tug franchise at its four grain facilities on the Lower Mississippi River. Under the agreement, no exclusive tug arrangements would be in place for docking and undocking assistance. In its place, there would be a two-tier system, with the upper tier applying to vessels of 13,501 GRT and larger and the lower tier applying to smaller vessels. For tug assistance services other than docking and undocking, rates would be capped at the rates charged by the tug company selected by Cargill as set forth in the company’s public tariff.

New Mississippi River Promotion Alliance Formed

Officials with the World Trade Center Mississippi River Alliance (WTC MSRA) and the Big River Coalition (BRC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a cooperative effort to preserve and promote economic growth on the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT). The organizations will work together in support of increasing the draft in the Lower Mississippi River deep-draft channel to 50 feet to equal the maximum draft to be available when the new Panama Canal locks open in 2015. Along with this agreement, both parties will be given access to broadcast their organizational information and updates to each other and its members. “The timing for such a partnership with the Big River Coalition is ideal.

Delta Queen Steamboat Company Makes Schedule Changes

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company, which will deliver two new steamboats to the Mississippi River system this spring, announced today that its American Queen schedule will be postponed until 2007, due to conditions in New Orleans and along the lower Mississippi River system, the steamboat's home base. Over the last few months, the American Queen has been in private charter. Passengers will be given the opportunity to travel on one of the other steamboats in the company's fleet including the historic Delta Queen or the Mississippi Queen.

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