Bulker carrying sulfur runs aground off Texas

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(PORT ARTHUR, Texas) — The Coast Guard is working with state and local partners in response to a bulk carrier loaded with sulfur that ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday while transiting outbound from Neches Industrial Park.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., watch standers at Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Control Port Arthur received a call from the pilot aboard the 615-foot Panamanian-flagged vessel Jian Qiang, stating they ran hard aground approximately one mile from the westernmost jetty, outside buoys 33 and 34, in the Gulf of Mexico.

There were no reports of significant damage, injury or pollution discharge. The Coast Guard is investigating the incident.

The Coast Guard, the Texas General Land Office, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the vessel’s owners are working together and providing oversight for the coordination and development of a plan to free the vessel.

"Safety is our primary concern," said Lt. Lynn Buchanan. "Our goal is to continue working with the vessel’s owners and our local agencies to construct and execute a course of action that frees the vessel while maintaining the highest level of safety for the personnel involved and minimizing any potential impact to the environment."

By Professional Mariner Staff