Family, friends wait for answers in search for sunken towboat

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Salvage efforts began Wednesday to recover the towboat that sank in the Mississippi River.

The boat named "Ricky Robinson" went down on Dec. 8. Keith Pigram was the boat's captain, and his stepson, Anquavioius Newson, was also on board.

After 29 hours and 324 nautical miles of river, the Coast Guard called off the search Saturday for the two crew members who were on board.

Tuesday, the boat's owner, Wepfer Marine, sent out a release stating that the boat is 65 feet underwater in a muddy section of river with no visibility and dangerous currents.

Salvage efforts could take several days, and investigators will then examine the boat to try to determine what happened.

Wednesday evening, families watched and waited from the shore on President's Island.

Henry Purdue, a friend of Pigram said he would have done anything to save his stepson.

"I know Keith was a great man," Purdue said. "If that boat went down, he was not going to leave Qau on that boat. That's just the bottom line, I mean a captain is going to give it all before he gives up."

Now, their relatives and loved ones can only wait for answers about what caused the vessel to sink.

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