One Dead, One Missing in Towboat Accident Near Morgan City

Barge tow on the Port Allen Route (file image via social media)

By The Maritime Executive 02-11-2020 08:16:00

The Coast Guard and local first responders are searching for a missing towboat crewmember in the Port Allen Route, part of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at 2150 hours on Monday night that a skiff carrying four crewmembers from the towboat Melvin L. King struck a towing vessel near Belle River, Louisiana. All four people entered the water at mile marker 41.

Two people were rescued on the bank of the Port Allen Route. One body was recovered by the Iberville Sherriff Office overnight, and one crewmember is still missing.

The Port Allen Route is currently closed from mile marker 41 to mile marker 55.

The Coast Guard has dispatched two response boats and a Dolphin helicopter aircrew to assist the search. The Iberville Sheriff Office and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are also participating in the effort. 

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

The Port Allen Route connects Morgan City with the Mississippi via the Port Allen Lock, upriver of New Orleans.