LST 325 runs aground on its way back to Evansville - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

LST 325 runs aground on its way back to Evansville

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Photo Courtesy: Mike Sanford. Photo Courtesy: Mike Sanford.
Photo Courtesy: James DeVillez. Photo Courtesy: James DeVillez.

On Tuesday, LST 325 remains stuck on the Cumberland River after running aground Monday night.

The ship was supposed to be back to its home port of Evansville on Tuesday, but crews say it's taking longer than expected to tow the ship into deeper water.

Officials say the ship is still located near Kuttawa, Kentucky where the Coast Guard tried to free the ship by using a tugboat.

Crews worked throughout the night until about three Monday morning.

There are authorities still monitoring the ship, but it's the locals that are just trying to get a glimpse of something they say they've never seen before.

"It's huge. How could he miss the channel that much and it's heartbreaking to see it out there," Evansville resident Mike Sanford said. 

"You just don't see this type of boat out here," Richard Sinnett, a local resident, said.

Sinnett was one of many locals that took their boat out to get a closer look of the grounded LST 325. He says according to the depth gauge on his boat, the ship is likely in four feet or less of water.

"You can see the birds just standing out there. They're standing up out there, this is the shallowest part of the lake," Sinnett said.

Monday night, Coast Guard officials say the LST 325 ran off course from the channel and aground due to a storm causing low visibility. Authorities say they tried to free the ship with a tugboat, but were unsuccessful.

Coast Guard Chief of Inspections Lt. Daniel McQuate says luckily there were no reports of injuries or damage.

"We don't have any reports of any type of oil spill or any environmental damage. We have one of our small boats out in the area monitoring the situation," McQuate said.

McQuate says their plan is to eventually pull the LST 325 out with tugboats, but to prevent any damage, they're not rushing.

"It's a 70 year old vessel, so we don't want to put a whole lot of force on it trying to pull it without having exact details of how hard aground it is," McQuate said.

Sanford is a longtime Evansville resident who says he's taken tours on the LST 325 several times and he's hopeful it makes it home safely from its cruise to Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee.

"With the history of that boat, definitely want to save it," Sanford said.

There's still no exact timetable for when the LST 325 is expected back in Evansville, but we'll keep you updated both on air and online. 

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