Multiple agencies search Ohio River to recover 2 people missing after boat, barge collide

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. — Emergency responders have resumed recovery efforts for two missing boaters from the Saturday night crash on the Ohio River involving a barge. 

Crews search Saturday night and most of Sunday. Much of the search center in the southwestern Jefferson County area.

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.

Authorities resumed the search at 9 a.m. Monday for the two missing individuals. 

On Monday, Marquette Transportation Company released this statement about the accident:

“Late in the evening of April 17th, an incident resulted in a small pleasure craft capsizing near the lead barges of a Marquette tow.    

Marquette’s mariners responded quickly and rescued five individuals from the water, who were then transported by local authorities to the hospital.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the individuals and families impacted by this tragic event.

Marquette is cooperating fully with all governmental agencies that are investigating this incident and conducting search efforts.” 

Sunday, 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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