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

HC-144 MobileNEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard and local agencies continue response efforts for a sunken tow vessel on the Lower Mississippi River near Memphis, Tuesday.

Capt. Timothy Wendt, Captain of the Port, Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River, has set a safety zone on the Mississippi River from mile markers 726 to 728 to ensure the safety of the public and response crews during cleanup and salvage operations for the William Strait response.

Watchstanders with Sector Lower Mississippi River command center received a notification of a collision between the towing vessels Margaret Ann and the William Strait at mile marker 727 on the Lower Mississippi River. The William Strait sank in 20 feet of water.

Personnel from the Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and local pollution response organizations are on scene responding. Response crews have deployed 700 feet of containment boom around the vessel to reduce environmental impact. They are also developing a salvage plan.

Assets involved in the William Strait response:

  • A Coast Guard 25-foot Response Boat—Small crew
  • A Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Century aircraft crew
  • NOAA scientific support coordinator
  • Memphis Police Department aircraft crew

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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