Sunken Ship on Arkansas River Likely a Barge

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A large wooden boat found submerged in the Arkansas River near the Old State House in Little Rock likely is that of a relatively modern barge or another vessel.

Some had hoped the craft would turn out to be a Confederate warship or a 19th Century steamboat, both of which are known to have gone down in the area. However, Bentley Hovis, a chief deputy for the Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands, says it likely is one of many commercial vessels that dotted the river as recently as the 1920s.

Divers examined the wreckage Thursday and took measurements.

P.J. Spaul, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Little Rock, says officials discovered another item of interest during a survey last year. However, he says it likely is scattered debris along the river's muddy bottom.

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