Operations on Friday to dislodge a riverboat that has been grounded in Lake Barkley since July 7 were successful, noted a press release from American Cruise Lines, which operates the ship.

Officials said the American Jazz riverboat was successfully refloated in Lake Barkley on Friday and was immediately able to get underway on its own power. The riverboat, which was carrying 120 passengers and 54 crew members when it became stuck, is currently undergoing final inspections from the U.S. Coast Guard, and once completed, will continue on to Nashville, officials said.

Its next cruise departs from Nashville on July 25, according to the press release.

Representatives of American Cruise Lines expressed their thanks to everyone on the ground in Kentucky for their tireless and continued efforts to refloat American Jazz.

“The tremendous work that was done by the local companies this week has been above and beyond expectations and was key to (Friday’s) success,” the press release noted.

“American would also like to thank the U.S. Coast Guard for deploying resources, keeping the waterway safe, coordinating efforts with all the members of the local community and the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and in supporting all the companies’ that refloated American Jazz,” it continued.

Further, the cruise lines shared its appreciation for companies including DonJon Smit, Florida Marine, Luhr Bros, Moran Environmental, Three Rivers Boat Yard, Lucas Hale, and Haynes Marrs and Associates and for the commitment of a dedicated crew that it said remained aboard the ship, safely disembarked passengers and continued to work throughout the week to ready the ship for its next cruise.

The cruise lines also recognized the additional support of David Elliott, from the State of Kentucky Emergency Management Operations, Area 1; David Bryant, Trigg County emergency manager, and Paula Flood, Trigg County deputy emergency manager.

American Jazz became stuck on a sandbar last week while on a seven-night cruise between Memphis and Nashville. Passengers were moved off the ship and transported to a Nashville hotel on July 9. The ship wasn’t damaged.

American Cruise Lines had been actively engaged in a re-float plan for the ship and was working together with the US Coast Guard and its own team of marine engineers and naval architects. The cruise lines also contracted with marine recovery experts Donjon-SMIT to re-float the riverboat. Water depth soundings were being completed around the vessel.

Officials said earlier that the cause of the incident remains under investigation.

They noted that the riverboat is specifically designed to make bow landings and regularly makes bow landings along river banks in shallow water.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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