A pair of towboats collided Monday afternoon on the Lower Mississippi River near Memphis, and one sank as a result of the collision.
The 105’6” x 32’ Margaret Ann — owned by Magnolia Marine — and Smithland Towing’s 184’ 45’1” William E. Strait were attempting to negotiate a pass, but gauged the distance incorrectly and collided at mile marker 727, local news sources reported. The William E. Strait sank in 20’ of water. No injuries were reported.
A 25’ Coast Guard small boat crew from Sector Lower Mississippi River initially responded to the incident along with an aircraft from Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Ala. and local pollution response agencies. An official from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration joined the response on Tuesday, and the Memphis Police Department is also involved.
Crews have deployed 700 feet of containment boom around the vessel to reduce environmental impact as a salvage plan is developed.
The Coast Guard is investigating the incident.