EXCURSION VESSEL AND RIVER BARGE COLLIDE
3/31/07: The 719-foot excursion vessel, River Explorer, was struck by a barge, the Nevin, that broke loose from a five-barge tow set-up. The River Explorer was on its way downstream toward New Orleans and the Nevin was traveling upstream toward Baton Rouge when the incident occurred.
The collision resulted in a 10 x 20 foot gash in the bow of the River Explorer. Pumps were successful in keeping it afloat until it reached a nearby river bank. There were no injuries reported, likely due to warnings to passengers by crew of the impending collision, nine minutes before impact.
The passengers on the River Explorer were nearing the end of their one-week cruise that took them to Cajun country and back to New Orleans from Baton Rouge, via the river. The vessel is hoping to only miss one of their week-long cruises while repairs are made.