Mississippi River closed after towing vessel slams into Hale Boggs Bridge

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The Coast Guard closed the Mississippi River between mile markers 115 and 122 after a vessel allided with the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge, Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at approximately 1:30 a.m. that the line haul towing vessel Cooperative Spirit, pushing 29 grain barges downriver, allided with the bridge.

No injuries, pollution or damage to the bridge was reported.

Of the 29 barges, 26 have been recovered, two have sunk, and one is still unaccounted for while inspectors search the area, said the Coast Guard in a tweet earlier today.

The cause of the allision is under investigation.


This is the second incident this year involving the Cooperative Spirit. On January 26, it was involved in a collision with the towing vessel RC Creppel.

The Cooperative Spirit was reportedly traveling up river when it entered a barge fleeting area and allided with barges before colliding with the RC Creppel, which sank. One of the four crewmembers of the RC Creppel was rescued. Three others are still missing.

Family members of one of those missing subsequently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Elite Towing Inc., which owns the RC Creppel, and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) subsidiary American River Transportation Co.(ARTCO), which owns the Cooperative Spirit.

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