Fifteen rescued from listing lift boat off Louisiana

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

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard and good Samaritan vessels assisted in the rescue of 15 people from a lift boat near Grand Isle, La., on Sunday.

Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at approximately 3:16 a.m. from the 134-foot lift boat Ram XVIII that it was taking on water approximately 23 nautical miles west of Southwest Pass, La., with 15 people aboard.

Sector watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast, launched a Coast Guard Station Grand Isle 45-foot response boat-medium crew, and launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter air crew.

A good Samaritan vessel, Starfleet Guardian, embarked six people from the vessel. The Station Grand Isle boat crew embarked the remaining nine people from the vessel and transferred them to Starfleet Guardian, which took them to shore.

The master of the lift boat reported that the vessel had a 45-degree list and no power, causing the vessel to be unable to self-correct the list. During the time the vessel was still taking on water, a steel tank filled with soap fell over the side, causing a hazard to navigation. The lift boat has approximately 13,900 gallons of diesel on board. There are currently no reports of discharge.

Sector watch standers issued an urgent safety marine information broadcast for the tank and the lift boat.

Members from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Houma planned to attend to the lift boat Sunday.

The cause is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff