Crews remove one of two sunken barges - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Crews remove one of two sunken barges

Crews have removed one of the two sunken barges from the Ohio River.

The Belle just wrapped up its first cruise tonight since the two barges sank out in the water. You can't see anything now because the equipment is gone after removing one barge.

Barge number one finally made it up from the bottom of the Ohio and on its way, at about six o'clock Thursday evening as we watched from a boat on the river.

"They're going to take it to a dry dock facility, do an inspection on the entire barge; the undershell and everything to make sure that the barge is safe for transit," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. John Adkins.

Just in time for the Belle of Louisville to get greased up and take a dinner cruise. That's music to the CEO's ears.

"We were counting on this weekend and we were very happy to be back in business," said Belle of Louisville CEO Linda Harris.

Linda Harris says the Belle has lost several thousand dollars since last Friday when she watched two barges full of iron ore, take on water and sink right in front of her. The Belle had to leave the dock on Saturday, cancel three cruises, and move three scheduled weddings to other venues.

"We had some scrambling to do. We had a very busy weekend. We're in season," said Harris.

All day long, crews have been draining water out of this first barge. Now we only got this close because LMPD's River Patrol unit brought us up near the accident site, but other boaters are not allowed within the restricted area closer to the site. They can only pass through at a distance, if they're heading down to the McAlpine Locks.

"We have a show, a venue for our passengers to enjoy that is very unusual," said Harris.

Curious onlookers watched as the Coast Guard continues investigating what caused the accident. The Coast Guard says the equipment will be back out tomorrow morning to start removing the second barge and it will still take one week to ten days to finish the job.

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