Towboat Sinks in the Mississippi River

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 8, 2019

Five crewmembers have been rescued from a towing vessel that sank in the Mississippi River near Laplace, La., Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

At approximately 3 p.m Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report that the St. Rita, owned and operated by Marquette Transportation Company, sank on the right descending bank on the Mississippi River.

The five crewmembers that were on board the vessel were rescued by nearby towing vessel, Rod C, and then transported to shore. No injuries were reported.  

There are no reported impacts to vessel traffic and the river remains open, the Coast Guard said.

According to the Coast Guard, the St. Rita is estimated to have approximately 13,000 gallons of diesel on board.

A Coast Guard helicopter diverted to conduct an overflight of the sunken vessel reported a visible sheen from mile marker 132 to mile marker 117. A Coast Guard team also conducted a visual shoreline assessment with representatives from Marquette Transportation and confirmed a silvery, rainbow colored non recoverable sheen on the river.  

“We are working with our federal, state and local partners and the responsible party to oversee the salvage and clean-up operations with the goal of minimizing the impact to the Marine Transportation System and the environment,” said Cmdr. Zachary Ford, Chief of the Sector New Orleans Response Department.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Coast Guard said.

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