Coast Guard reopens Neches River, restrictions in place

Response crews work from a spud barge to conduct salvage and recover operations for the towing vessel Louise on the Neches River near Port Arthur, Aug. 22, 2015. Response crews placed containment and absorbent boom around to minimize the impact of the pollution leaking from the vessel. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Scott Ledee)

Response crews work from a spud barge to conduct salvage and recover operations for the towing vessel Louise on the Neches River near Port Arthur, Aug. 22, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Scott Ledee)

PORT ARTHUR, Texas – The Coast Guard has reopened the Neches River with restrictions to all vessel traffic, Saturday.

Vessel traffic is restricted from meeting or overtaking one another 1,000 feet up bound and 1,000 feet down bound near the capsized towing vessel Louise at mile marker 284. Additionally, mariners are cautioned to create a minimum wake for the safety of salvage and recovery crews.

A minimal sheen is reported on scene; however hard boom, lined with absorbent boom is containing it. Salvage divers report all possible pollution sources are plugged to prevent additional leakage.

A barge containing heavy equipment and a crane is in place to stabilize the sunken vessel. The Coast Guard is working with the vessel owners to devise an optimal plan for the its safe removal.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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