Escaped Barge Raises Concern for Panama City Officials


An escaped barge has raised some concerns, after it broke loose from the Panama City Marina and was temporarily beached near the Tarpon Dock Bridge Sunday afternoon.

Panama City Public Information Officer, Caitlin Lawrence, said the steel cables attaching the barge to the marina were snapped because of the weather, which allowed the empty to barge to travel on its own.

Lawrence said at some point this caused the barge to collide with the wall of the Marina.

“It’s our understanding that the barge did hit the southeast section of the Panama City Marina,” she said.

The barge completed its journey through the Saint Andrew’s Bay when it came to rest near the Tarpon Dock Bridge.

While it caused no damages to that area, Lawrence said the city is concerned about fuel tanks under the part of the marina that the barge traveled through.

“We looked at our fuel inventory, and it appears that there are no leaks from those fuel tanks,” she said. “But just to be sure, we’re going to have a company come out and they are going to do three tests to make sure there are no damages to the fuel tanks.”

City officials are also concerned that the barge may have caused more than just cosmetic damages when it crashed into the wall.
“At some point during this week we’ll have a contractor come out and look at the structure of the marina, to see if we have any issues that need to be repaired,” Lawrence said.

The barge has been returned to the marina, where it is currently docked.

A tugboat is waiting for calmer waters to tow the barge back to Louisiana.

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