Tugboat Crewmember's Body Found in San Jacinto River
A tugboat capsized early Tuesday morning as it made its way along the San Jacinto River, which was rain-swollen due to the heavy down pour in the area. Of the five crewmembers on board the Ricky J Leboeuf, four were successfully rescued by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Marine Unit while the tugboat sank into the river. The fifth crewmember remained unaccounted for following the capsizing.
HCSO sent a rescue-boat crew and dive team to join the U.S. Coast Guard in their search for the missing crewmember. Two hours after the search began, the body of the man was located near where the boat had flipped. The crewmember was reportedly unresponsive according to a Coast Guard Petty Officer.
Did Heavy Rains Lead to the Capsize?
The stormy weather in the Houston area has resulted in flooding in some areas, including the San Jacinto River. According to Coast Guard Officials, the river was at high flood level during the time of the incident. Investigations have begun as officials try to determine what exactly caused the tugboat to flip on the river. The boat was working around barges when it capsized, which has led investigators to speculate that the tugboat could have been snagged on a barge line.
It is still unclear if the tugboat accident was related to the inclement weather at all. The widespread flooding throughout Houston has led to five other reported deaths since Monday morning.