The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 12, 2013

Once sunken towboat ready to move to repair docks

Associated Press

---- — DES MOINES — A Mississippi River towboat that partially sank just over two weeks ago is nearly ready to begin its 350-mile trip to a St. Louis-area repair facility, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said Wednesday.

Two additional small holes were discovered by divers in the boat’s hull on Tuesday but they have been patched and the boat is watertight, Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty said.

“That pretty much means she is ready for us to get her out of here,” he said.

A larger 30-by-12 inch hole on the bottom of the boat had been patched earlier.

The boat struck something in the river Nov. 25, took on water and partially sank against the riverbank at LeClaire.

Investigators from the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating what caused the accident.

Fogarty said plans were to begin moving the boat Wednesday.

Monitoring of the spill area will continue for several months to ensure the LeClaire riverfront is returned to normal, Fogarty said.