Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur
is responding to the pollution threat and salvage of the 189-ft., U.S.-flagged towing vessel La Marie.
The La Marie began taking on water when it struck a submerged object in the Gulf of Mexico, and later sank in the process of being towed to shallower water on Saturday.
The Coast Guard is on scene to assist and monitor pollution abatement and clean-up efforts. Initial inspections of the vessel found that the vessel sank in about 40 feet of water, with about two feet of the La Marie remaining visible. The owner is working closely with the Coast Guard to contain and clean any oil that is discovered, and to conduct salvage operations to safely remove the vessel.
The flooding began in the vessel's engine room about 20 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, southwest of the entrance to the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Louisiana.
La Marie is carrying approximately 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel oil. The vessel is not obstructing navigation and no waterways have been impacted.
The cause of this incident is under investigation by MSU Port Arthur.