Salvage of Sunken Towing Vessel Continues on Upper Mississippi River

Crews attempt to lift the sunken vessel at mile marker 9.7 on the Upper Mississippi River near Cairo, Illinois, Monday. The UC consists of the Coast Guard, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Tennessee Valley Towing. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Unified Command convened in response to a sunken towboat loaded with fuel on the Upper Mississippi River near Cairo, Illinois was set to lift the vessel from the water on Monday as salvage efforts continue more than a week after the incident.

The Coast Guard was notified at approximately midnight on July 9, 2017 that the towing vessel Eric Haney was sinking on the right descending bank of the Upper Mississippi River at mile marker 9.7. The vessel reprtedly carrying approximately 79,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 1,600 gallons of lube oil onboard.

There were nine people aboard the towing vessel who evacuated the vEdsel before it sank, with no reports of injuries.

The Unified Command is lifting the sunken vessel at mile marker 9.7 on the Upper Mississippi River near Cairo, Illinois, Monday. The UC consists of the Coast Guard, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Tennessee Valley Towing. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

During Monday’s lifting operation, a total of 1,700 feet of hard boom was deployed around the vessel and the oil spill response organization had replaced sorbent boom as necessary to mitigate pollution. Water and shoreline assessments showed no signs of pollution, the Unified Command reported.

There were no restrictions on commercial or recreational vessel traffic due to the incident or salvage.

The Unified Command consists of the Coast Guard, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Tennessee Valley Towing, which owns the towing vessel.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.