The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(NEW ORLEANS) – The Coast Guard is supervising the salvage and pollution response operations of a sunken towing vessel in the Mississippi River at Mile Marker 161.5 near New Orleans, Thursday.
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a report around 2 a.m. Thursday that the 56-foot towing vessel Justice, owned by River Ventures LLC, had begun taking on water and sank around midnight. The vessel was carrying 5336 gallons of diesel fuel and 100 gallons of lube oil when it sank.
Coast Guard responders have been on scene to oversee pollution response operations since approximately 6 a.m. Boom has been deployed and the Coast Guard is continuing to monitor the situation to identify shoreline impacts. The Lower Mississippi River Waterworks Network is currently monitoring water intakes in the area, but there have been no impacts to drinking water and none are expected.
The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.