Coast Guard investigating towboat sinking near Baton Rouge

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

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard reopened the waterway closure on the Mississippi River from mile marker 224.5 to mile marker 226 after a vessel sank near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Thursday.

A Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge incident management team confirmed an oil sheen in the water. There is a reported potential of 18,500 gallons of fuel aboard the Michelle Anne. An unknown amount of oil has discharged into the river.

Due to concerns over responder safety from dangerous river conditions the Coast Guard and OMI Environmental are managing the spill from shore.

General Anchorage remains closed.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a report at 1100 of the towing vessel Michelle Ann, pushing one empty dry cargo barge with four crewmembers, sinking at Baton Rouge General Anchorage.

The four crewmembers escaped to the barge and were recovered by a nearby tug. There were no reported injuries. The barge was recovered as well.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.


By Professional Mariner Staff