Authorities move from search to recovery as 2 boaters remain missing following Ohio River crash involving barge

According to Pleasure Ridge Park Fire, one of seven people on a boat died due to their injuries. Two are still missing, officials are investigating.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A water rescue on the Ohio River in southwestern Jefferson County following a collision between a boat and barge Saturday night has now turned into a recovery effort.  

Officials said multiple agencies are searching 60-miles of river from Caesar’s Indiana to Brandenburg, Kentucky for two people who went missing following the incident at the Greenwood Boat Docks.

The Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Department said 7 people were aboard the boat that crashed into a barge, sending all 7 into the river. Five people were recovered from the river, including one, who was transported to the hospital where they later died.

It’s unclear if the boat was on the river watching fireworks during Thunder Over Louisville but it was a prime spot for watching since Caesar’s is upriver from that location.

Metro Police, PRP Fire and the Coast Guard have continued search efforts for nearly 18 hours for the missing man and woman. There has also been a group searching nearby land.

PRP Fire said the cause of the accident is unknown but said they have been reaching out to family members frequently to provide updates.

They will continue their search until sunset Sunday and then will hand it over to Metro Police.

Alicia Smiley, spokeswoman for Metro Police, released a statement:

“The overall investigation and continued recovery efforts involving the barge vs. pleasure craft is a multi-agency effort including LMPD, PRP Fire, the US Coast Guard and others. From this point forward, LMPD will be the primary contact for inquiries regarding this incident. The investigation into the ‘who, what, why’ is still continuing and we will provide updates when additional information becomes available.” 

WHAS11 will update this story as new information is released.

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