The USCG has issued an MSIB for the LMR MM 221 to MM 240 (Baton Rouge Gauge @ 35’ and Falling).
This MSIB addresses towing vessels operating in the vicinity of Port Allen Lock and Wilkinson Point.
The full MSIB is attached.

HIGH WATER SAFETY ADVISORY: MM 221 to MM 240 AHP LMR (35’ and falling)


As a result of the Baton Rouge gauge reading 35’ and predicted to fall, the Captain of the Port of New Orleans has issued a safety advisory for all waters of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) from Mile 219 Above Head of Passes (AHP), to Mile 240 AHP.

This safety advisory is effective Monday, August 5, 2019 at sunrise, and supersedes MSIB XIX Issue 058: High Water Safety Advisory at MM167.5 to MM 254.5 (Below 38’). The following are recommendations for the advisory:

Wilkinson Point LMR MM 232-237:
1. VTS is no longer managing the queue at Wilkinson Point or monitoring VHF ch 12. Per their normal communications plan, VTS will monitor channel 05A for MM 109-254.
2. It is recommended that line-towing companies and tow operators use towing vessels with a horsepower ratio of 240 hp per standard barge. A maximum of 36 barges per tow is recommended for southbound transit from Wilkinson Point (MM 232 to MM 237 LMR). Empty barges may be calculated at ½ the horsepower requirements to that of a loaded barge when computing the overall horsepower requirement.
3. Towing vessels with 8000 hp may push a 35 barge tow makeup (400 hp less than requirement stated above).
4. Owners / Operators are reminded to ensure towing vessel inspections are completed before heading southbound through the Highway 190 bridge at Wilkinson Point, as per 33 CFR 164.78. 5. Line-towing companies should consider staffing vessels with the most experienced crews.

Port Allen Lock LMR MM 221-229:
1. All tows greater than 600’ (excluding the towboat) are recommended to employ an assist vessel of at least 1200 hp when entering and exiting the Port Allen Lock.
2. All other canal tows exiting the Port Allen Lock intending to directly head northbound are recommended to use an assist vessel, or first proceed southbound and then top around at or below MM 221 prior to heading north.
3. Companies should consider staffing vessels with the most experienced crews.
4. Towing vessels shall catch a headline when entering the Port Allen Lock.
5. Vessels will be put on queue for lock turn when their tow is built and may remain in the area in which their tow was built until it is time for lock turn.

For additional information, contact the following:

Vessel Traffic Center Lower Mississippi River: (504) 365-2230 (24 HR), VHF-FM CH 05A
Coast Guard Baton Rouge Waterways Management: (225) 298-5400 X230
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Center: (504) 365-2200

Captain of the Port New Orleans