JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A barge somehow got loose Wednesday in the St. Johns River near Blount Island and drifted into several private docks along Ramoth Drive on Little Marsh Island, according to the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard said the hopper barge either got loose from a tugboat or a mooring around 11 a.m.
By 11:30 a.m., the tugboat had regained control of the barge and was pulling it away. Coast Guard Station Mayport provided a security zone during the recovery.
No injuries were reported. But one of the damaged docks had a slanted roof. Another was mangled. And a third had wooden pilings that were about to snap.
“It looks about five or six at least docks and boats were damaged,” said Little Marsh Island Resident Mike Ziza.
Ziza said his dock sustained some damage from parts of other docks.
“There are lots of chunks of docks, floating down and beating up against our dock, and I lost all my halogen lights,” Ziza said.
A few houses away, Little Marsh Island resident Teresa Mason said she came home to find debris everywhere.
“Our dock is gone, everything,” Mason said. “It’s not salvageable.”
#MUSTWATCH: The moment a barge slams into docks along the Saint Johns River on Little Marsh Island. It looks like something out of a movie, but for these homeowners it was their reality. pic.twitter.com/CSLIQtdkJv— Zachery Lashway (@ZachLashway) April 28, 2021
A spokesperson with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told News4Jax the barge belongs to a contractor engaged by the Army Corps of Engineers that is dredging the entrance channel to Naval Station Mayport. This is not related to the St. Johns River Harbor Deepening Project.
#ThisJustIn A barge broke free in the St. Johns River near Blount Island in Jacksonville, Fl. Alliding with private docks, no injuries were reported, Tug Steven Wayne arrived on scene and recovered the barge. @USCG Station Mayport provided a security zone during the recovery. pic.twitter.com/JcAf10oQ35— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) April 28, 2021