1. As a result of the Baton Rouge gauge reading 30’ and rising, the COTP New Orleans has issued a Safety Advisory for all waters of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) from Mile 219 to Mile 229 and Mile 232 to Mile 237 Above Head of Passes (AHP) in accordance with the Waterways Action Plan Baton Rouge Annex:
2. Wilkinson Point LMR MM 232-237:
A. Companies should consider staffing vessels with their most experienced crews.
B. Tows should be kept to a maximum of 36 barges.
C. All tow operators and towing companies should use a ratio of 240 horsepower per standard barge or 550 horsepower per oversize barge for southbound transits. Empty barges may be calculated at ½ the horsepower requirements to that of a loaded barge when computing the overall horsepower requirement. Towing vessels with Z-drive propulsion types may be treated as having a horsepower 20% greater than the engine’s rating for the purpose of this calculation.
3. Port Allen Lock LMR MM 219-229:
A. Companies should consider staffing vessels with the most experienced crews.
B. All tows greater than 600’ (excluding the towboat) are recommended to employ an assist vessel of at least 1200 hp when entering the Port Allen Lock.
C. All tows exiting the Port Allen Lock intending to turn northbound are recommended to use an assist vessel or proceed southbound and then top around at or below MM 221 prior to heading north.
D. Towing vessels are recommended to catch a headline when entering the Port Allen Lock.
E. 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.
This Marine Safety Information Bulletin supersedes Volume XXIII, Issue 014 High Water Safety Advisory: MM 219 to MM 229 AHP LMR (28’ and rising)
For further information, contact the following:
Vessel Traffic Service Lower Mississippi River: (504) 365-2230, VHF-FM CH 05A, 12, 67
Coast Guard Baton Rouge Waterways Management: (225) 298-5400 X230
Coast Guard Sector Command Center New Orleans (24 hours): (504) 365-2200