Multiple Ship Collision on Mississippi River
On Monday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard responded to a multiple ship collision on the Mississippi River. The collision occurred near Convent, Louisiana—about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
The collisions began when a 751 foot bulk carrier drifted down river after breaking free of its mooring. It first collided with a moored towing vessel. Several of the vessels crewmembers were taken to a nearby hospital for examination, though no injuries were initially reported.
After colliding with the towing vessel, the bulk carrier continued to drift down river where it collided with a second vessel—an 816 foot tank ship that was in the process of unloading crude oil. After completing an emergency shutdown, the tank ship broke free of its connection points, which caused a spill that released about 420 gallons of oil into the Mississippi River. More oil was spilled onto the deck of the tank ship.
The drifting bulk carrier was eventually able to anchor and all three of the vessels are being monitored by the Coast Guard. The oil spill has been contained and is being attended to by OMI Environmental Services and Coast Guard response teams.
An investigation into the cause of the collisions is underway to determine how the bulk carrier broke free of its moorings.
The river has been re-opened after being closed for a short time to attend to the spill.