Sunken RV appears in river

Published 12:31 am Monday, July 30, 2012

Submitted by Sonny Blackwell / Special to The Democrat — A 38-foot Rexhall motor home that slid into the river near Under-the-Hill Saloon in January has recently appeared down the river below the Briars.

NATCHEZ — With the Mississippi River levels low, an RV cruising the river floor for the last six months recently decided to seize the opportunity to pop up for a peek above the surface.

And the 38-foot Rexhall motor home apparently never traveled too far past the Under-the-Hill Saloon from where it first submerged.

On Jan. 29, onlookers at the Saloon watched as the RV slid into the river from the boat ramp parking lot.

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Friday, a new set of onlookers snapped photos of the roof of an RV in the river that they can only assume is the same one that fell in the river earlier this year.

The RV apparently traveled slightly south of the bridge and was spotted just below the Briars.

“It looked like it had ben there a lot longer than six months,” said Sonny Blackwell, who took photos of the RV Friday.

Blackwell said the size and what appeared to be air conditioning units on the roof made him believe it was the RV that swam away in January.

“It had to have gone around the curve, tumbled and rolled a good bit to end up where it is,” Blackwell said.

U.S. Coast Guard Master Chief Randy Merrick said his office got a call Saturday about the RV surfacing, and he passed on the information to the Memphis base.

The USCG does not customarily perform salvage jobs, Merrick said.

Shortly after the RV rolled in the water months ago, USCG officials said the RV did not pose an environmental hazard because it was only carrying 50 gallons of fuel.

The USCG spokesperson said in March the RV did not pose a navigational hazard at that time.

USCG Petty Officer Brian Hampton from the Memphis office said Sunday he wasn’t personally aware of the RV situation in Natchez, but that if it turned out to pose a navigational threat, the USCG would send a broadcast notice to mariners making them aware of it.