Barge Safety 10 apples up on top

Well it happened again. Another bridge allision on the Mississippi. As operators seek to push more and more barges at a time, on the river and in the canal , these incidents will increase in occurrence.
If you have never read the childrens’ book " Ten apples up on top" read it. The book can be a direct parody of todays’ towing industry.

It is time for the Coast Guard to step and stand up to the Towing Companies and set limits on the number of barges and size of tows being moved. The big craze in the ICWW now is six packs of 200’x35’ barges. This creates a 600x70 tow plus boat length. In many places in the canal two of these tows can’t pass and in many places the 600’length will barely make a bend…It can be and is being done but at what risk level is this taking place ? I actually passed an idiot pushing an 8 pack in the canal last month.

Then there are the Knuckle draggers whose egos a bolstered by the “bargecker” measuring contest and, We have all met super captains, who “don’t need no stinkin safety”…

It’s getting worse out there with regards to size safety. USCG please do your job and protect mariners from this ever increasing risk situation.


A few yrs ago they limited the tug I was on to 16 barges… so they just changed them out with hoppers 2x the size and we took 12… :joy: