MSIB Vol XX Issue 010

HIGH WATER SAFETY ADVISORY: MM 219 to MM 240 AHP LMR (30′ and rising)

As a result of the Baton Rouge gauge reading 30′ and predicted to rise, the Captain of the Port of New Orleans has issued a safety advisory for all waters of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) from Mile Marker (MM) 219 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to MM 240 AHP. The following are recommendations for the advisory:

Port Allen Lock LMR MM 219-229

  1. It is recommended that all tows >600′ (excluding towboat) employ an assist vessel of at least 1200 HP when entering and exiting locks.
  2. It is recommended that all tows exiting Port Allen Lock into the Mississippi River intending to turn northbound use an assist vessel or proceed south below MM 221 and top around before heading north.
  3. Tows should use their most experienced crews.
  4. Tows shall catch a headline when entering the locks.
  5. Vessels will be placed on queue for lock turn when their tow is built and may remain in the area in which their tow is built until it is time for lock turn.

Wilkinson Point LMR MM 232-237

  1. Tows should use their most experienced crews.
  2. Tow sizes should be kept below 36 barges. 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. For the purpose of this calculation, barges with dimensions 290′ x 50′ or larger are considered “oversize” while barges with dimensions less than 290′ x 50′ are considered “standard.” If one of the barge dimensions (length or width) meets or exceeds the 290′ x 50′, then the barge is considered “oversize.” 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.

This Marine Safety Information Bulletin supersedes Volume XIX, Issue 083 High Water Safety Advisory: MM 219 to MM 229 AHP LMR (25′ and rising).

For additional information, contact the following:
Vessel Traffic Center Lower Mississippi River: (504) 365-2230 (24 HR), VHF-FM ch 05A, 11, or 12
Coast Guard Baton Rouge Waterways Management: (225) 298-5400 X230
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Center: (504) 365-2200