Carl Rustung



Out of control

Because they typically lack propulsion of their own, barges strike bridges with some frequency. Sometimes they sink; once, a rice barge sank to the riverbed, and when the millions of grains hit the water, they expanded, warping the steel walls of the barge. Other times, they break loose and Jenkins’s deckhands have to go chasing them down like cowboys roping cattle. “You have no control out here,” Captain Deckard says. “You ride the river and just hope you’re in the right spot when you need to be.”