Coast Guard, good Samaritans rescue 15 people from lift boat

liftboat Ram XVIII

liftboat Ram XVIII

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard and good Samaritan vessels assisted in the rescue of 15 people from a lift boat near Grand Isle, Louisiana, Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at approximately 3:16 a.m. from the 134-foot liftboat, Ram XVIII, that it was taking on water approximately 23 nautical miles west of Southwest Pass, Louisiana with 15 people aboard.

Sector watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast, launched a Coast Guard Station Grand Isle 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew, and launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter air crew.

A good Samaritan vessel, the Starfleet Guardian, embarked 6 people from the vessel. The Station Grand Isle boatcrew embarked the remaining 9 people from the vessel and transferred them to the Starfleet Guardian which took them to shore.

The master of the liftboat reported that the vessel had a 45-degree list and no power, causing the vessel to be unable to self correct the list. During the time the vessel was still taking on water, a steel tank filled with soap fell over the side, causing a hazard to navigation. The liftboat has approximately 13,900 gallons of diesel onboard. There are currently no reports of discharge.

Sector watchstanders issued an urgent safety marine information broadcast for the tank and the liftboat.

Members from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Houma have plans to attend to the liftboat.

The cause is under investigation.

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