Vessel carrying coal grounded before barge sinks.
On Feb. 22, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported a grounded barge on the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. Due to the grounding, the Coast Guard closed the Monongahela River at mile marker 59.6 near the grounded barge and tows.
According to the USCG, the uninspected towing vessel Francis J. Blank had reported that its lead coal barge of a three-barge tow reportedly struck bottom while transiting the river. The vessel captain took action to prevent the barge from sinking by pushing the barge into the left descending river bank.
According to the USCG, the towing vessels John Cushner and Kimberly Johnson are on the scene until salvage commences. The River Salvage Company is employed to refloat the damaged barge by using a crane barge to offload coal onto a hopper barge.