Louisiana towboat sinks after hitting submerged object

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

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard is responding to a sunken towing vessel in Pass a Loutre near Venice, La., on Monday.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watch standers received a report at 2 a.m. of the towing vessel Dejeanne Maria, pushing two empty dry cargo barges, transiting downbound on the Mississippi River when it struck a submerged object.

The three people who were aboard Dejeanne Maria at the time transferred to the towing vessel Supporter 1.

An assist tug is en route to retrieve the barges.

Dejeanne Maria is submerged with its port side above the water. The vessel is blocking the channel in Pass a Loutre.

There is a maximum potential of 7,000 gallons of oil on board with a reported 60 gallons having entered the water.

The Sector New Orleans incident management team mobilized to conduct a shoreline assessment. ES&H was contracted to respond and deployed boom around the sunken vessel. An ES&H air drone and Coast Guard overflight observed no active discharge of oil.

The incident is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff