Coast Guard Sector New Orleans launched two shoreline assessment teams Tuesday morning to identify potential shoreline impacts on the Mississippi River and any recoverable oil product from the discharge, which took place on Monday. The spill closed the river for a time but the river is now open to one-way traffic around the site.
The discharge was a result of the 751' bulkcarrier Privocean breaking free from its moorings at the Ergon St. James facility and drifting down river and colliding with the 98' towing vessel Texas, which was moored at the time. The Privocean continued to drift down river and also collided with the 816' tanker Bravo.
A Coast Guard overflight took place from mile marker 165 to 180 to assess any sheen or oil products. Other than a small amount of sheen near the incident location, no sheen or recoverable oil was observed during the overflight.
A Coast Guard Station New Orleans 45-foot response boat crew was deployed to conduct a shoreline assessment starting at mile marker 96 and moving upriver. No reports of recoverable product have been received by the shoreline assessment teams, nor have any facilities on the Lower Mississippi River reported pollution.
The Coast Guard is actively monitoring the situation of all three vessels and affected areas down river. The Coast Guard will continue to evaluate any potential impacts to the environment.
Diving operations to complete an on-scene damage assessment are pending due to poor visibility. The Coast Guard had no information on who owned any of the vessels.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.