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Tug Collision, Sinking On Mississippi River

Tug Collision, Sinking On Mississippi River
The U.S. Coast Guard continues work in response to the Monday collision of towing vessels Margaret Ann and William Strait in the Lower Mississippi River.

The U.S. Coast Guard continues work in response to the Monday collision of towing vessels Margaret Ann and William Strait in the Lower Mississippi River. The two vessels apparently misjudged distances after making passing arrangements, and the Strait sank in 20 feet of water after the collision.

The USCG and local media have reported no injuries from the accident.

The USCG has left the Mississippi open to one way traffic in the affected area as response crews work on the cleanup and salvage of the sunken wreck.

Crews have deployed 1,100 feet of containment boom and 600 feet of sorbent boom around the vessel to prevent any further spreading of pollution.

Aircraft surveys by the Coast Guard and local police authorities are under way to determine the extent of environmental damage, and a salvage plan is being developed to safely remove the sunken tug. Her tow of multiple aggregate barges has already been salvaged.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the USCG are investigating the incident.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's response center reported that petroleum products of concern in the incident included 90,000 gallons of diesel and 2,000 gallons of lube oil. The NOAA report suggests that the Strait collided with an asphalt barge in the Ann's tow.

The William Strait was operated by Western Rivers Boat Management. The company has been in the towing, barge shifting, and ship repair businesses on inland waterways since 1996.

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