Tug Boat Captain Missing After Tug Sinks

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard is searching for the captain of the 52-foot towing vessel, Gate-Way, that sunk with two people onboard early this morning near Norco, La., on the Mississippi River.

At approximately 12:30 a.m this morning Sector New Orleans received a call from the towing vessel Secretariat as well as from the dispatch operartor of the Saint Rose Fleet facility reporting that the Gate-Way sank while working with the Secretariat.

One crewmember was rescued by the Secretariat and transported by Upper Saint Rose Fleet to a relative’s home.

Air Station New Orleans launched an HH-65C rescue helicopter and the New Orleans Marine Safety and Security Team has searched with two 25-foot vessels. Coast Guard Station New Orleans is currently on scene with a 41-foot boat.

St. Charles Sheriff Department and South Louisiana Port Authority are also on scene activley searching.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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One Comment

  1. Kane says:

    My opinion as a seasoned mariner is that the motor vessel Gate-Way is not suitable for work, or pleasure for that matter, in the mississippi river. I am familiar with the boat. The small design coupled with the lack of bulworth on the main deck are a definate red flag as to its inability to work in the strong and difficult predictability of the currents in the mississippi river. Combine that with the lack of two escape routs from the wheel house and you have a definate and clearly certain trajedy waiting to happen. My opinion is that the width, birth, draft, and horsepower of ALL vessels operating in the river should be set to greater standards and vigorously regulated by the DOT and enforced by the USCG. Their should be laws set that require every boat operating in the mississippi river to have a minimum of two doors on the wheel house leading to the outside. The boat owners should be responsible and legally required to ensure that the crew, cargo, and property are safe at ALL times. It is way past time for someone to be accountable for the condition of the equipment that these men and women work with. In closing, the motor vessel Gate-Way should have never been permited to work anywhere on the mississippi river. The captain that is currently missing and assumed dead is an extremely experienced wheelman and a personal friend. My opinion is that this tragedy would have never happened had the Gate-Way been properly outfitted for the conditions of the mississippi river.