Public Safety Blotter Articles

River Rescue Saves Three Boaters

Date: August 6, 2019
Incident Type: Boat vs. Barge Collision
Location: Ohio River

Pittsburgh River Rescue responded to a report of a barge vs. pleasure craft collision on the Ohio River around 12:15 a.m.

River Rescue and the Fire Boat arrived on scene -- below the Point and above the West End Bridge -- within minutes and found a pleasure craft with three adults caught under the front right side of the barge. The barge was empty and riding high, so the operator was unaware the pleasure craft was caught under it.

The operator slowed and stopped the barge after seeing and hearing River Rescue’s lights and sirens. River Rescue took the three adults onto the River Rescue boat and transported them to the North Shore boathouse outside PNC Park.

A female passenger complained of minor lower leg injuries and a male passenger complained of neck and back pain. A third passenger, a male, was not injured. Landside Medics transported them to a local hospital to be evaluated.

River Rescue returned to the barge, freed the pleasure craft and towed it to the boathouse.

It appears that the boat became caught on the barge somewhere on the Monongahela River. The pleasure craft operators then called 911 for help.

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating.

The Pittsburgh River Rescue Unit, founded in 1986, consists of members of Pittsburgh Police and Pittsburgh EMS. The primary mission of the River Rescue Unit is to prevent and to respond to waterborne emergencies in the waterways in and around the City of Pittsburgh.


Reporting PIO:
Chris Togneri