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Crewman missing after towboat capsizes in Louisiana

Mar 19, 2019 08:53 AM

Three were aboard Seattle Slew when the accident occurred north of Point A La Hache

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

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a person who went into the water after a towing vessel capsized at mile marker 55 on the Lower Mississippi River north of Point A La Hache, La., on Tuesday.

Coast Guard crews searched approximately 158 square nautical miles for approximately 18 hours but were unable to find the missing person.

Involved in the search were:

• Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew
• Coast Guard Station Venice 45-foot response boat-medium boat crew
• Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Department marine asset crew
• Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District boat crew
• Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

"The decision to suspend a search is never easy," said Cmdr. Michael Wolfe, a search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. "We saturated the search area with search crews but, unfortunately, were unable to locate the missing person.”

The towing vessel was located by Turn Services outside the ship channel at mile marker 57, and the Mississippi River has been reopened to all traffic with restrictions requiring minimum safe speed and wide berth from mile markers 56 to 58.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

PREVIOUS REPORT

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard is searching for a person in the water after a towing vessel capsized at mile marker 55 on the Lower Mississippi River north of Point A La Hache, La., on Monday.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watch standers received a notification at 8:12 p.m. of the 54-foot inspected towing vessel Seattle Slew capsizing in the Mississippi River near Myrtle Grove Fleet with three people on board. Two people were recovered. One is missing.

Searching are:

• Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter air crew
• Coast Guard Station Venice 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew
• Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Department marine asset crew

There is a waterway closure from mile marker 55 to mile marker 58 on the Mississippi River.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Editor's note: NOLA.com is reporting that the missing man is the towboat's captain.

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