American Jazz

The American Jazz cruise ship remained stuck on a sandbar at Lake Barkley over the weekend.

American Jazz, the American Cruise Lines ship that ran aground on July 7 at Lake Barkley, remained stuck on the sandbar as of Sunday.

Updated information from American Cruise Lines said divers were in the water on Sunday assessing the underwater situation and developing a plan to re-float the riverboat.

Officials said the ship is out of the channel and out of the path of local boaters, and its remains completely safe. Onboard systems are operational, and there is no danger to crew remaining on board. Additionally, there continues to be no damage, no pollution and no environmental concerns, officials said.

There are no safety concerns or injuries.

“We are very sorry for any inconvenience this incident caused to our guests and the surrounding community,” cruise lines officials said earlier. “American remains fully committed to working together until our riverboat can be freed from the sandbar and we anticipate that when it does, it will be able to sail under its own power and resume all normal operations.”

The statement from the cruise lines said some crew members would begin disembarking Sunday, while others would remain on board.

“They are fully equipped with supplies and perfectly safe and comfortable aboard the ship,” the statement said, adding that “additional fresh water has been delivered.”

On Friday and Saturday nights, guests who disembarked the ship Friday stayed at the Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville and enjoyed a special dinner and other activities in the city as part of their regular slate of cruise activities.

Most guests were to return home on Sunday from Nashville, as normally scheduled following the end of their cruise, according to officials.

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

Officials said 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.

American Jazz is following a seven-night Music Cities Cruise from Memphis to Nashville, and the cruise was expected to resume with a few adjustments to its normal schedule.

American Jazz is a small modern riverboat and accommodates fewer than 190 passengers.

Trigg County Emergency Management Director David Bryant said no one was in contact with his agency or any other agency in Trigg County that he is aware of to ask for assistance with the grounded ship.

The incident is the second to involve issues with a boat in the area in recent days.

On Sunday, a boat began taking on water and capsized as it was headed back to the courtesy dock at the Lake Barkley Marina.

Several assisted in rescuing people from the water in that incident, and there were no major injuries apart from bumps and bruises.

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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