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Coast Guard update 3: Lake Barkley Unified Command continues to work on salvage plan

CORRECTION: It was initially reported there were 54 crewmembers, but the correct number was 49. Eight were transferred off with the 120 passengers, currently leaving 41 crewmembers aboard.

CADIZ, Ky. — The Lake Barkley Grounding Unified Command continued to coordinate on Saturday to identify the safest and least intrusive salvage plans to free the American Jazz riverboat in Cadiz.

The unified command is in the planning process of safely and efficiently returning the American Jazz to normal operations while taking precautions to mitigate any environmental impact.

“We want to remind the recreational boating public to adhere to our safety zone set in place from mile marker 61 to mile marker 64 and to keep a safe distance from the vessel,” said Cmdr. Jennifer Andrew, federal on scene coordinator for the Lake Barkley Grounding incident. “Currently our operations and planning in response to the Lake Barkley grounding involving the American Jazz has been successful thus far due to the partnership with our local county emergency management center and state of Kentucky partner agencies to ensure we all are able to safely respond to this incident.”

The 3-mile safety zone from mile marker 61 to 64 is still in place to ensure the safety of response crews and the public.

“American Cruise Lines is actively engaged in the re-float plan for the American Jazz and is working together with the Coast Guard as well as its own team of marine engineers and naval architects,” said Alexa Paolella, public relations manager with American Cruise Lines. “American Cruise Lines has also contracted with marine recovery experts Donjon-SMIT to re-float the riverboat. All mechanical systems aboard are fully operational and there is no damage to the vessel. There have been no safety concerns, no injuries and no pollution or environmental issues. The cause of the incident remains under investigation and presently, American Jazz continues to rest on the soft muddy lake bottom.”

More information on this case can be found here.

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