Photo Credit: Coast Guard photo by PA3 Jonathan McCool
The backlog of vessels waiting to enter or exit the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River
has almost cleared today and the Coast Guard is projecting that it should be completely cleared by mid-day Saturday, weather permitting.Since the Southwest Pass was reopened Wednesday afternoon to one-way vessel traffic, 70 vessels entered and 69 vessels exited the Mississippi River
. Today there are 16 awaiting entry and 13 waiting to depart.Bisso Marine, the company contracted to raise and remove the Lee III from the shipping channel, submitted their salvage plan to the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in New Orleans Thursday afternoon. After careful review the plan was approved by the MSO captain of the port. Salvage operations to prepare the vessel for removal are continuing.The Coast Guard anticipates closing the Southwest Pass for approximately 12 hours once salvage crews report that the Lee III is ready to be removed.