Search efforts continue for two missing after tugboat sinks in Mississippi River

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard is searching for two people after a towing vessel capsized and sank in the vicinity of mile marker 90.5 on the Mississippi River near New Orleans Monday morning.

The Natalie Jean capsized with three people aboard. The good Samaritan vessel Earl Gosling rescued one person.

The New Orleans Fire Department got calls about a collision around the West Bank side of the river near Patterson Drive and Nie Parkway. Crews have been scanning the waters for more than 24 hours now, working overnight.

A mile and a half stretch of the river has been closed down, seven federal and local agencies helping with the search, including coast guard helicopters, boats and more.

Involved in the search are:

  • Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew
  • Coast Guard Station New Orleans Response Boat-Medium boatcrew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Barbara Mabrity
  • New Orleans Harbor Police
  • Plaquemines Port Authority
  • St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • NOAA

The Mississippi River is specifically closed from mile marker 89 to 90.5.

There is an estimated 600 gallons of fuel on board the Natalie Jean. No reports of it leaking though, at this point.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.