Once Sunken Towboat Ready to Move to Repair Docks

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mississippi River towboat that partially sank just over two weeks ago is nearly ready to begin its 350-mile trip to a St. Louis area repair facility.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Colin Fogarty says two small holes were discovered in the boat's hull but they have been patched and the boat is watertight. A larger 30-by-12 inch hole had been patched earlier.

Fogarty says the Coast Guard is doing a final safety inspection and reviewing the transit plan. Once those tasks are completed the boat will be towed away, likely beginning Wednesday.

The boat struck something in the river Nov. 25, took on water and partially sank against the riverbank at LeClaire.

Investigators from the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are looking into what happened.

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