American Jazz Riverboat Stuck on Sandbar in Kentucky Lake
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Cruises


American Cruise Lines’ modern riverboat American Jazz ran aground on a sandbar on July 7 in Lake Barkley, Ky., during its July 4 Cumberland River cruise from Memphis to Nashville.

The incident was reported to the U.S. Coast Guard District 8 on Thursday morning.

“We launched boats and a marine investigator, and so far, there appears to be no damage and no pollution or injuries,” Coast Guard Petty Officer Gabriel Wisdom told TravelPulse. “From what I’ve heard, it’s a pretty stable situation.”

Wisdom said the vessel is just outside the ship channel where the water is shallower. The ship can accommodate 190 passengers but is operating at reduced capacity due to the pandemic, so it currently is carrying 120 guests and 54 crew members.

Wisdom said the Coast Guard is working with American Cruise Lines to create a plan to dislodge and refloat the ship.

Passengers seem to be taking the situation in stride, with one telling a local news outlet that “it’s a beautiful place to be stuck.”

American Cruise Lines said work was continuing on Friday morning.

“Work is progressing well in assisting the American Jazz off the sandbar in Lake Barkley, but the effort is taking longer than expected,” the company said. “We are working with the Coast Guard to disembark guests this morning via tender and have them proceed to Nashville, where they will be able to participate in regularly scheduled shore excursions. There remains no damage to the vessel, no pollution, and no other resulting areas of concern. American Cruise Lines has been operating in Lake Barkley for almost 10 years and, while we regret this incident, we look forward to continuing to visit and explore the wonderful ports and communities along the Cumberland River with our small riverboats.”

If the ship isn’t refloated soon and the passengers are ferried to Nashville, they will still go on tours to Ryman Auditorium and see a performance at Grand Old Opry. They will be accommodated in a hotel until their scheduled departures on Sunday.





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