Coast Guard suspends search for barge worker near New Orleans

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(NEW ORLEANS) — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search at 7:07 p.m. Saturday for a missing barge worker near Harahan, La.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watch standers received a call at approximately 3 a.m. Saturday from National Maintenance & Repair of Louisiana Inc. stating a worker was missing and had reportedly been working on a barge on the Lower Mississippi River near the Huey P. Long Bridge.

The man, 55-year-old Darrel Roberson, was last seen wearing blue coveralls. A life jacket was found on the barge.

Watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Station New Orleans response boat crew to search.

Rescue crews searched more than 20 miles downriver and a combined 164 square nautical miles for a search time of approximately 10 hours.

“The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never an easy one to make,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ben Walsh, Sector New Orleans enforcement division chief. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family during this difficult time.”

– U.S. Coast Guard


By Professional Mariner Staff