american jazz

The Lake Barkley Unified Command continues to work with American Cruise Lines in the planning process to safely unground the American Jazz on the Cumberland River in Cadiz, Kentucky, July 11, 2021. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

Lake Barkley Cruise Ship Salvage Continues

Mike Schuler
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July 12, 2021

A unified command is continuing to work on a salvage plan for the grounded American Jazz cruise ship on Lake Barkley near Cadiz, Kentucky.

Dive operations were approved Sunday to assess the seabed is in preparation to refloat the vessel.

The owner of the cruise ship, American Cruise Lines, has activated their salvage and marine firefighting agreement with Donjon-SMIT.

American Jazz ran aground near mile marker 62 on the Cumberland River last Wednesday during a seven-night “Music Cities Cruise” from Memphis to Nashville with 120 passengers and 54 crew members. All passengers were disembarked from the vessel on Friday.

No damage, pollution, or injuries were reported.

american jazz aground
The Lake Barkley Grounding Unified Command continues to work on the American Jazz cruise ship salvage plan in Cadiz, Kentucky, July 10, 2021. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The unified command continues to work with American Cruise Lines in the planning process to refloat the vessel while taking precautions to mitigate any environmental impact.

“American Cruise Lines has contracted with marine recovery experts Donjon-SMIT to re-float the riverboat,” said Alexa Paolella, public relations manager with American Cruise Lines. “American Cruise Lines is actively engaged in the re-float plan for the American Jazz and is working together with the Coast Guard as well as its own team of marine engineers and naval architects.”

A 3-mile safety zone from mile marker 61 to 64 is in place to ensure the safety of response crews and the public.

“We want to remind the recreational boating public to adhere to our safety zone set in place from mile marker 61 to mile marker 64 and to keep a safe distance from the vessel,” said Cmdr. Jennifer Andrew, federal on scene coordinator for the Lake Barkley Grounding incident.

The Unified Command is comprised of representatives from the Coast Guard, the State of Kentucky, Trigg County, and American Cruise Lines.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation.

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