Lugger Tug Sinks Near Mouth of MIssissippi
On Monday, a small lugger tug sank near Venice, Louisiana after striking a submerged object.
The 55-foot tug DeJeanne Maria went down at about 0200 hours Monday in Pass-a-Loutre, a wildlife reserve area at the mouth of the Mississippi. The Maria was headed downriver with two empty barges when she struck an unknown object underwater and began to sink. Her three crewmembers were rescued by a good samaritan vessel, identified by the Coast Guard as the towing vessel Supporter 1. A third vessel got under way to retrieve the two barges.
The Maria came to rest on her starboard side, and part of her port side remains above the water. Her hull is not obstructing traffic in the channel.
According to the Coast Guard, the Maria sank with as much as 7,000 gallons of fuel on board, and roughly 60 gallons were released during the sinking. Spill response contractor ES&H was hired to deploy a containment boom and monitor the site. According to ES&H and the U.S. Coast Guard, there appears to be no additional fuel discharge from the sunken vessel at this time.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
The DeJeanne Maria is a 900 horsepower, 55-foot lugger tug operated by Denet Towing Service. Lugger tugs are characterized by their house aft configuration, their open forward deck and their shallow draft. They are a regional vessel type, and are specially adapted to serve inshore oil and gas rigs and other marine operators in the shallow waters of the Mississippi River Delta.