The tugs RC Creppel and Cooperative Spirit collided on Sunday morning in the Mississippi River at mile marker 123, near Luling, Louisiana.
“The Cooperative Spirit was reportedly transiting up bound on the river when it entered a barge fleeting area and allied with barges before colliding with the towing vessel RC Creppel. The collision caused the RC Creppel to sink and barges to breakaway,” the US Coast Guard (USCG) said.
Three crew members of the RC Creppel are missing while the further was recovered by a Good Samaritan vessels. The search for the three missing was ongoing by vessel and helicopter.
One of the two barges being pushed by the RC Creppel was damaged releasing and unknown amount of sulphuric acid.
“This is a complex response that has a search-and-rescue component, as well as a pollution component that will require planning and coordination to execute," said Capt. Kristi Luttrell, the Commanding Officer of Sector New Orleans. “We are working alongside our partners at the state and local levels to quickly assess the situation so that we can safely make every effort to find the missing mariners and minimize any further impact to the environment.”
The cause of the accident is being investigated.
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