Tug grounds on shipwreck in Lower Mississippi

(DONALDSVILLE, La.) — The following is the text of two press releases issued Jan. 20 by the U.S. Coast Guard:
The Coast Guard has temporarily restricted vessel traffic to one-way on the Lower Mississippi River from mile markers  167-177 due to a towboat grounding.

At approximately 1 p.m. today, the towboat Senator Stennis struck the submerged wreckage of the 17th century replica of the French warship, Le Pelican that sank March, 2004, in Donaldsonville, La.  The grounding caused a hole in three of the fuel tanks and spilled approximately 30-gallons of diesel fuel into the Mississippi River.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge is actively working with the vessel owner, Kirby Inland Marine, and all key stakeholders to quickly and safely resolve the situation.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge is investigating the cause of the accident.


At approximately 10:18 a.m. the Coast Guard re-opened the stretch of lower Mississippi River, from mile markers 167-177, which was partially closed after the towboat Senator Stennis struck the sunken wreckage of a replica 17th Century French warship, Le Pelican, and spilled approximately 30 gallons of diesel fuel.

The Senator Stennis was safely removed from the wreckage, with no further pollution reported. The 30-gallons was cleaned up by absorbent boom and natural dispersion.  The Senator Stennis is underway to Elmwood Shipyard in New Orleans for repairs.


By Professional Mariner Staff