Search continues for missing mariners after collision near Gulfport Ship Channel

A United States Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter

USCG File Photo

GULFPORT, Miss. — The Coast Guard continued the search for three people missing, Thursday, following a collision between a 660-foot container ship and a 163-foot fishing vessel.

 

“The Coast Guard is still in full search and rescue mode,” said Capt. Donald J. Rose, commanding officer for Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Ala. “As always, the preservation of human life is our first priority.”

Coast Guard units currently searching are:

  • An MH-65C rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans;
  • A 210-foot Coast Guard Cutter and crew from St. Petersburg, Fla.;
  • A 41-foot utility boat and crew from Coast Guard Station Gulfport;
  • An 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter and crew from Mobile, Ala.;
  • Mississippi Department of Marine Resources;

The Coast Guard and the MDMR are searching an area of approximately 25-square miles between Cat Island and Ship Island south of Gulfport.

A safety zone has been established in the Gulfport Ship Channel to allow for safe search and rescue operations. All vessels are restricted from entering the zone, which encompasses the western tip of Ship Island in the channel. Mariners shall not enter into, depart from, or move within the safety zone unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative. All concerned mariners may contact the Coast Guard on VHF-FM Channel 16 for more information.

Tow vessels brought the Eurus London, which was carrying bananas, to the West Pier in Gulfport Harbor.

At 8:50 p.m., Wednesday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Gulfport were notified that a collision had occurred between the Sandy Point and the Eurus London, approximately 10 miles offshore Gulfport between Cat Island and Ship Island. The Sandy Point sank following the collision with 16 persons aboard.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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