Coast Guard response to sunken towing vessel in Mississippi River continues

America's Heartland Coast Guard News
NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is continuing to respond to a sunken towing vessel in the Mississippi River near St. James, Friday.

Mckinney Salvage and Heavy Lift are scheduled to arrive on scene tonight and commence salvage operations.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a report around 2 a.m. Thursday that the 56-foot towing vessel Justice, owned by River Ventures LLC, had begun taking on water and sank around midnight. Three people aboard the tow vessel were able to get off the vessel before it sank.

The vessel was carrying 5,336 gallons of diesel fuel and 100 gallons of lube oil when it sank. The actual amount of fuel discharged into the Mississippi River is unknown at this time; however, current estimates indicate the full amount of fuel and oil carried aboard the vessel has not released into the water. Divers were able to plug the fuel vents Thursday.

Coast Guard responders have been on scene to oversee pollution response operations since approximately 6 a.m., Thursday. Boom has been deployed, and the Coast Guard is continuing to monitor the situation to identify shoreline impacts. The Lower Mississippi River Waterworks Network is currently monitoring water intakes in the area, but there have been no impacts to drinking water and none are expected.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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