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Crewmembers escape burning towboat on Lower Mississippi

Crewmembers escape burning towboat on Lower Mississippi
Jan 25, 2018

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) — The Coast Guard and local agencies are continuing to monitor the situation at mile marker 390 on the Lower Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Miss., on Friday.

The fire aboard the towboat George King has been extinguished.

The waterway restriction between mile marker 395 and mile marker 380 was lifted on Thursday at 12:28 p.m.

U.S. Environmental Services has set boom and absorbent pads around George King with no reports of pollution.

Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River watch standers received a notification at 8:50 p.m. Wednesday regarding George King reporting an engine room fire with nine crewmembers aboard. The crewmembers abandoned George King to the dry cargo barges it was pushing with no reported injuries. The towboat C. Michael Reeves was able to push George King and its barges onto the left descending bank of the Mississippi River.

George King has an estimated 65,000 gallons of diesel on board.

Involved in the response are Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Vicksburg, Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Budwine & Associates Inc., and U.S. Environmental Services (USES).

The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.