Coast Guard responds to collision near Gulfport Ship Channel

A Coast Guard HC-144 aircraft

HC-144 USCG file photo

GULFPORT, Miss. — The Coast Guard is responding to a collision between two vessels, Wednesday evening, 10 miles south of Gulfport near Ship Island in the Gulf of Mexico.

At 8:50 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Gulfport were notified that a collision had occurred between the Sandy Point, a 163-foot fishing vessel, and a 660-foot container vessel, the Eurus London, approximately eight miles offshore Gulfport between Cat Island and Ship Island. The Sandy Point sank following the collision with 16 persons aboard.

A pilot boat safely recovered 11 people from the water and transferred them to the fishing vessel Frosty Morn. Two additional crewmembers of the Sandy Point made it on their own to the Eurus London.

The Coast Guard searched throughout the night for the three missing people who were aboard the Sandy Point.

Coast Guard units searching are:

Two MH-65C rescue helicopters and crews from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans;

An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft and crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala.;

An 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter and crew;

A 41-foot utility boat and crew from Coast Guard Station Pascagoula;

A 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water (SPC-SW) and crew from Coast Guard Station Gulfport;

A 41-foot utility boat (UTB) and crew from Station Gulfport;

A 210-foot Coast Guard Cutter and crew;

The Coast Guard has established a safety zone of approximately 25-square miles between Cat Island and Ship Island south of Gulfport to allow for safe search and rescue and pollution response operations.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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