Houston Ship Channel reopens after sunken tugboat salvaged

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(HOUSTON) — Salvages crews recovered the tug vessel J.R. Nichols early Saturday morning, and the Houston Ship Channel was reopened at 1:15 p.m. to all traffic.
The salvage vessel Big John hoisted the sunken 56-foot tug vessel from the Houston Ship Channel at 2 a.m. The J.R. Nichols had sank in the ship channel Wednesday evening with five crew members onboard. Four of the five were recovered with minor injuries, while the fifth crew member was recovered deceased by salvage crews Thursday.
The J.R. Nichols is currently moored near the Lyondell facility as the investigation continues into why the vessel sank. Absorbent boom has been deployed to contain the fuel that spilled from the tug, and while cleanup efforts continue.
The cause of the vessels’ sinking is under investigation.
Any inquiries regarding the deceased crew member should be directed to the Harris County Medical Examiner’s office.
By Professional Mariner Staff