The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(BARBOURVILLE, W.V.) — The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a missing person on the Kanawha River after a 67-foot towing vessel sank Monday at approximately 2 a.m near Winfield, W. Va.
Two crewmembers were aboard the towing vessel Misty Dawn when the vessel sank near the edge of the navigational channel around mile 37 of the Kanawha River. One crewmember safely swam to shore. Members from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington; the Winfield, Bancroft, and Teays Valley Fire Departments; and the Virginia State Police are searching for the remaining crewmember.
The Misty Dawn had approximately 4,000 gallons of fuel on board. Visible oil in the water has been reported as far as half-a-mile downriver from the sunken vessel. The Coast Guard has a pollution assessment team on scene to assess the situation.
The Kanawha River has been closed to vessel traffic by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Sector Ohio Valley, due to the on-going search, pollution response, and salvage operations. The cause of the incident is under investigation.