Guests stranded by barge wreck entertained with horses, barbecue

Published 7:07 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Some stranded by the closing of the Mississippi River due to a barge collision with the bridges at Natchez and Vidalia were not left without something fun and outdoorsy to do today.

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed one or more barges collided with the bridges at approximately 10:45 p.m. Sunday, leaving one of the barges partially submerged in the river south of Natchez.

Due to the incident, the river had been closed to all boat traffic.

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David Carter, the owner of Double C Ranch and host of Great River Outdoors, took a group of stranded guests on one of his tours, he said.

“We supply ATV tours for the riverboat companies,” he said. “The boats were supposed to leave and head down to St. Francisville. When they canceled the tours downriver, we proposed let’s give them something to do.”

Starting bright an early Tuesday morning, Carter said approximately 20 American Cruise Line guests who had been caught in an overnight layover were entertained by a training a house horse obstacle course and farrier demonstration and were treated to a big barbeque lunch. Some also saddled up and participated in the demonstrations themselves.

“Good time had by all,” Great River Outdoors shared on its social media page.

Lt. Bryan Scott, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard in Vicksburg, said the incident that caused the barge accident remains under investigation without releasing further details.

Scott said both the Louisiana Department of Transportation and the Mississippi Department of Transportation were notified and DOT officials confirmed bridge inspectors deemed the bridges safe for travel.