Neches River reopened after capsized towboat is stabilized

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

(PORT ARTHUR, Texas) (Aug. 22) — The Coast Guard has reopened the Neches River with restrictions to all vessel traffic Saturday.

Vessel traffic is restricted from meeting or overtaking one another 1,000 feet up bound and 1,000 feet down bound near the capsized towing vessel Louise at mile marker 284. Additionally, mariners are cautioned to create a minimum wake for the safety of salvage and recovery crews.

A minimal sheen is reported on scene; however hard boom, lined with absorbent boom is containing it. Salvage divers report all possible pollution sources are plugged to prevent additional leakage.

A barge containing heavy equipment and a crane is in place to stabilize the sunken vessel. The Coast Guard is working with the vessel owners to devise an optimal plan for the its safe removal.

The cause of the incident is under investigation. 


(PORT ARTHUR, Texas) (Aug. 21) — The Coast Guard has established a safety zone on the Neches River after a towing vessel capsized near Port Arthur on Friday.

The safety zone is in place between mile markers 276 to 289.

The Coast Guard received notice, at approximately 6:45 p.m., the towing vessel Louise capsized in the Neches River near mile marker 284. The four crewmembers aboard the Louise were rescued by a good Samaritan tugboat operator, with no reported injuries.

Currently there is a minimal sheen reported on scene; however the Louise has the potential to release 6,000 gallons of fuel oil, 70 gallons of lubricant oil, and 30 gallons of hydraulic fluid.

Coast Guard personnel are on scene assessing the damage and impacts to the waterway.

A salvage company has been hired to remove the vessel from the waterway to minimize the impact to commercial traffic. The Coast Guard requests that all mariners avoid the area until further notice.

The incident is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff