Coast Guard Monitors Sunken Tow Boat

Monday, August 14, 2006
Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur is monitoring the pollution threat and structural integrity of the 132-foot, U.S.-flagged towing vessel Mama Lere, which is partially submerged and accompanied by a four barge tow.

The Mama Lere began flooding while transiting from New Orleans to Houston. The flooding began in the engine room at Mile Marker 289 on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near the West Port Arthur Bridge. Coast Guard small boats were in the area at the time of the sinking and rescued the five crewmembers onboard. The Mama Lere is believed to be carrying approximately 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel oil. The vessel is not obstructing navigation and the waterway currently remains open to traffic as monitored by Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur and Texas General Land Office have worked together to deploy over 2,500 feet of boom around the vessel, and individuals on scene are plugging the fuel vents on the vessel to mitigate any pollution. The cause of this incident is under investigation by MSU Port Arthur.

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