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Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club "Looks Like a Total Loss" After Barge Strike

The Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club appears to be a total loss after a barge drifted towards it and ultimately crashed into it early Wednesday morning.

Kenton County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Steve Hensley told The River City News that the local landmark's owner looked at the damage and declared it to be a total loss. RCN has not spoken directly with the owner.

"Portions of the Yacht Club are sinking as we speak," Hensley said a few hours after the crash. "There are about six boats currently intertwined with each other and still attached to the barge that struck them at the center of the river channel."

The Yacht Club's usual landing spot on the Ohio River is empty at this time, according to RCN reporter Connor Wall who has been on the scene this morning.

Multiple local, state, and federal agencies are investigating. Hensley said the U.S. Coast Guard is handling the investigation and that so far there is no public information available yet about what caused the barge to drift. 

No one was injured, Hensley said, and all the boats are accounted for.

River traffic is also shut down at this time, Hensley said. There are no environmental concerns due to the barge's contents, he said, but the debris in the river from the crash is cause for concern, he added. 

Ludlow Police Chief and interim City Administrator Scott Smith also spoke with the media on Wednesday morning. 

He said investigators are still unsure about what caused the barge to drift towards the yacht club. He expects for there to be video footage from the tugboat pushing the boat. 

Smith added that had the barge struck during a busy time for the club, it would have been a bigger situation for emergency responders. "It was the best case scenario for us as far as no damage or people (hurt)," Smith said. "If this was on a Thursday night, Friday, night or Saturday night it would have been a major problem."

Some yacht club employees were expected to arrive for work not long after the barge struck, but were spared by the timing of the crash.

The Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club has long been a Northern Kentucky landmark. Its summer season was scheduled to end this Sunday, October 6, according to its Facebook page.

"There may be certain pieces of equipment he can salvage but he's saying right now that it looks like a total loss," Hensley said of of the owner.

The River City News continues to work this story and will update with more information as soon as possible.

-Michael Monks, editor and publisher

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