Late Tuesday evening, the Maltese-flagged 623’x105′ bulk carrier Flag Gangos lost power and steering near mile marker 97.4 on the Lower Mississippi River in New Orleans. The ship collided with the 750’x138′ Liberian-flagged oil tanker Pamisos and the 297’6″x54’x13′, 30,000-bbl. barge Web 235, both moored at the International Matex Tank Terminals conducting transfer operations.
The Coast Guard Sector New Orleans command center received a report of the incident and was told that the crew of the 80’x30′ pushboat Capt. Shawn D. Martinez was transferring number six fuel oil from the barge when the barge broke free of its mooring, causing some oil to be discharged into the river from the transfer hose. The hose was shut off immediately following the incident.
“We had 14 barrels of product go into the river, and it was contained quickly by the boom that was deployed,” said a spokesperson from the Coast Guard’s 8th District. “This is a case of the safety procedures working like they should.”
The river was shutdown for a short amount of time. One-way traffic was employed near the sight until 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon when the river was reopened in both directions.
Both the vessel Pamisos and the barge sustained damage, no injuries were reported. Blessey Marine Services owns both the Capt. Shawn D. Martinez and the Web 235.
The incident remains under investigation by the USCG.