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Towboat being towed to Paducah
The towboat, which was owned by Crounse Corp. in Paducah and operated by Tennessee Valley Towing, was pushing four barges full of coal when it began taking on water about 3 a.m. The crew of eight were able to use the boat to push the barges to the riverbank and secure them before it went under, according to the Coast Guard.There were no early indications why the boat sank when it was raised by Aquarius Marine Salvage Co. of Cincinnati, Nauert said. The process of raising the 92-ton boat took nearly four days and included spinning the boat 90 degrees on the river's bottom so it was running parallel with the current. The boat sank in about 45 feet of water, the Coast Guard said, and was lifted using slings divers looped under the boat's bow and stern.An environmental clean-up company on hand for the project was able to contain and remove a small amount of fuel that was released when the boat was raised, Nauert said. "I think everything went great," Nauert said.Once the towboat was raised to the surface of the water, it was temporarily repaired and secured to a barge so it could be towed to Paducah, Nauert said.The towboat is expected in Paducah by the end of the week, Nauert said."They wanted to make sure it wouldn't take on any more water and other safety concerns," Nauert said.The investigation will also determine whether penalties should be assessed for the discharge of oil and fuel into the water and whether the towboat used improper navigational practices, Nauert said.
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If Jeffboat followed all the Coast Guard recommendations in making the modification, "there shouldn't be any problem," Nauert said.
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It was also determined that the boat struck a CSX Railroad Bridge across the river near Spottsville on Nov. 13, Nauert said.At the time of that incident, the bridge was inspected and cleared for continued use, according to Nauert.
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