Response vessels at the scene of the Ricky J Leboeuf capsizing. USCG photo.A man was killed after a towboat capsized Tuesday morning in the San Jacinto River about a half mile south of Interstate 10 in Houston.
Coast Guard and Harris County Sheriff Department responders rescued four other crewmembers from the water after the towboat Ricky J Leboeuf flipped over near the San Jacinto monument. One crewmember was unaccounted for, and his body was later located downriver by the crew of an Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter called in for the search. Rescue boats were directed to his location, and he was pulled unresponsive from the water and transported to EMS, the Coast Guard said. The deceased's identity was not immediately released.
The Coast Guard said they were notified of the incident by Kirby Inland Marine personnel at 8:11 a.m., and that the towboat had capsized at 7:44 a.m. In response, Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders launched the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, a Station Houston response boat, coordinated with a Harris County Sheriff Department boat, and requested a dive team to assist in the search for the missing crewman.
Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service Houston restricted waterway traffic on the San Jacinto at 8:42 a.m. Traffic is prohibited between the red #2 light and the I-10 bridge. Vessels may be allowed to transit the area on a case-by-case basis.
The 1,800-hp 67’x24’1”x8’ Ricky J Leboeuf is owned by Taira Lynn Marine Ltd., Houma, La. Coast Guard pollution response teams are on scene to evaluate any potential environmental impacts and coordinate with a salvage team that was contracted to recover the vessel.
The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.