Crew members begin to disembark stranded riverboat on Lake Barkley

Posted at 9:11 AM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-11 19:11:31-04

TRIGG COUNTY, Ky. (WTVF) — Some crew members will begin to disembark the grounded American Jazz riverboat on Sunday, while others remain on board.

We're told that American Jazz remains completely safe with all on-board systems operational and poses no danger to any crew who remain on the ship.

Dive teams were in the water on Sunday to assess the underwater situation and develop a plan to re-float the riverboat which remains stuck on the sandbar.

On Friday, all 120 passengers and six crewmembers were safely taken to Nashville to continue the rest of their trip.

Officials said they realized Thursday night that the ship may be stuck a lot longer than they expected.

The Coast Guard released the following statement:

"The Coast Guard worked with local government and industry partners to safely disembark passengers and crew from the American Jazz," said Cmdr. Jennifer Andrew, commanding officer, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah. "The Unified Command will remain on scene until the vessel is safely afloat."


  • Riverboat was en route from Memphis to Nashville when it got stuck on a sandbar
  • The U.S. Coast Guard was called out on Thursday
  • No injuries, damage reported so far

Read more: Riverboat en route to Nashville stuck on Lake Barkley in Kentucky

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed the grounding happened at 1 p.m. Wednesday, when the boat got stuck on a sandbar on Lake Barkley, which spans across Livingston, Lyon and Trigg Counties. The American Jazz riverboat is carrying 120 passengers and 54 crew members.

A map of the American Jazz riverboat's journey

Lt. John Nolan, with the Marine Safety Unit out of Paducah, told NewsChannel 5 that a plan was in place to the ship of its passengers and crew if the boat was not dislodged soon.

According to the American Cruise Lines website, the ship has been in operation since March of 2021.

The American Jazz Cruise ship was en route to Nashville when it got stuck on a sandbar on Lake Barkley.

There were no reports of injuries, damage or pollution.

Here's the most recent statement from American Cruise Lines:

American Cruise Lines is engaged with numerous local partners to ensure the safe return to service of the American Jazz. From the initial moments of the incident we were focused on the safety of guests, crew, and the environment, as we worked to assess the situation. At present, there are no injuries, no damage, no pollution, and no disruption to commerce. Our partners on the water have been extraordinary and we have an open dialogue with all appropriate authorities, as we work together to resolve the incident. They have been extraordinary and we thank them all for their efforts so far. We regret the disruption to our guests’ cruise and we are working with each of them to ensure a positive experience, as they continue to Nashville.

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