Coast Guard continues response to collision, sinking on Lower Mississippi River near Memphis

HC-144 from Cape CodMEMPHIS – The Coast Guard and local agencies continue response efforts to a sunken tow vessel on the Lower Mississippi River near Memphis, Wednesday.

A Unified Command has been established consisting of U.S Coast Guard, Western Rivers Boat Management and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. An overflight Tuesday revealed a dark sheen extending outside of deployed boom. The sheen is approximately half a mile long and begins at the site of the William Strait.

Response crews have deployed 2,100 feet of containment boom around the vessel.

The Mississippi River is open to one way traffic between mile markers 726 to 728.

A salvage plan is being developed to safely remove the sunken tow vessel.

Assets involved in the William Strait sinking:

  • A Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft crew
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientific support coordinator
  • A Coast Guard 25-foot Response B-Small crew
  • Memphis Police Department aircraft crew
  • National Transportation Safety Board
  • Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Budwine & Associates
  • United States Environmental Services
  • Environmental Safety Emergency Response
  • AMS Services

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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