Bill G To Work Great Lakes
A & B Industries of Morgan City, La., delivered Bill G, a 76 x 26 ft. model-bow tug to Luhr Bros. Contractor of Columbia, Ill. Bill G will provide service for Luhr Bros. in its construction operations on Lake Michigan. Several special features were required to work in the area due to low bridge clearance and high water conditions. For example, the pilothouse roof is designed to fold down, and both the mast and radar base were designed to meet these requirements. Other features include dual spotlights, on port and one starboard, and bow pudding that extends to the 12 ft. mark. Main propulsion comes from two Caterpillar 3508B diesels, producing a total of 1,710 hp at 1,800 rpm. The engines are connected to Michigan 70 in. by 60 in.
Coast Guard Responds to Rock Barge Incident
Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Port Arthur is responding to a marine casualty on the Sabine-Neches waterway involving a barge under tow, which became unstable and dumped its cargo of rock into the water. The Coast Guard received a notice that the towing vessel Kacie Luhr, pushing four rock barges, was taking on water and one of the rock barges had dumped about 1,650 tons of rock into the navigation channel. Coast Guard smallboats transported all six crewmembers from the towing vessel safely to a nearby tug. The Kacie Luhr and two of its barges remain partially in the waterway. Coast Guard investigators conducted an initial survey of the towing vessel and the two damaged barges, while the two rock barges that were completely unaffected by the incident were disconnected from the tow.
A&B Industries To Build 76 Ft. Tug
A&B Industries, of Morgan City, La., has signed a contract with Luhr Bros., Columbia, Ill., for a 76-ft. model bow tug for service in the Great Lakes as a switch tug and general operations vessel. The tug will be powered by twin Caterpillar 3508B main engines producing 1,710 hp. Since the tug will be involved in operations in low bridge clearance areas, its superstructure and mast were modified to a low profile to meet a 19 ft. air gap clearance. Also onboard will be a hydraulically-operated stern towing winch to increase the vessel’s capabilities and versatility. The vessel is the third to house a hull design developed by A&B to meet inland and coastal operator requirements for 10 and 12 ft. hull depths.
Coast Guard Investigates Sinking of Towboat
At press time, U.S. Coast Guard from Marine Safety Office (MSO) St. Louis investigators were trying to determine the cause of the sinking of the towing vessel Patty Ann, while the Missouri Highway Patrol searched the Mississippi River for Patty Ann's operator, John Distefano. The boat sank at about 11:50 p.m. on Feb. 27 at mile marker 127.2, at the Tower Rock Stone Fleet, on the Upper Mississippi River, approximately three miles north of Ste. Genevieve, Mo. Preliminary reports indicated that two deckhands, Nathan Bauman of Ste. Genevieve, and Eric Mathews of Praire du Rocher, Ill., were able to climb aboard a barge adjacent to the Patty Ann as the towboat began to sink.
Obituary: Joseph E. LeBlanc Jr.
Joseph E. LeBlanc Jr. passed away on June 27, 2014. He was 87 years old. Joe was president of Three Rivers Rock Quarry in Smithland, Ky. (a division of Harbert Construction), Three Rivers Towing, Harcon Barge Lines and Louisiana Limestone during the late 60s and 70s. He also worked later for Luhr Brothers at their St. Genevieve, Mo. Facility and was General Manager for Boyce Machinery in Morgan City, La. for a few years and also worked as a consultant and for NREC in Houma after he retired. Prior to working for Harbert, LeBlanc was employed by Thomson Tractor in Birmingham, Ala.
WWII Landing Ship Restored as Floating Museum/Memorial
The LST-325 (Landing Ship, Tank), a World War II amphibious vessel designed to land battle-ready tanks, troops and supplies directly onto enemy shores, will once again be plying the waters, but this time, being towed as a floating memorial making a maiden educational voyage on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers this summer. The LST-325 is one of only two World War II LSTs to be preserved in the United States and is crewed solely by veterans. Towing services are being provided by several barge companies including Kirby Corporation (Houston, TX); Luhr Bros. (Columbia, IL); Madison Coal and Supply (Charleston, WV); MEMCO Barge Line (Chesterfield, MO), and American Commercial Barge Lines (Jeffersonville, IN). Acquired by the USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc.
Coalition Urges Congress to Address Asian Carp in the Great Lakes
A coalition of maritime business and industry organizations sent a letter to key Members of Congress on Friday, March 24 urging funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to further support efforts undertaken by the State of Illinois to slow, stop and reverse the migration of Asian carp, an aquatic invasive species, through cost-effective measures. In the letter, the UnLock Our Jobs (UOJ) coalition members review the record of success that the GLRI has had in working with the State of Illinois to develop a range of strategies to control Asian carp…