The tugboat Natalie Jean, which capsized and sank in the Mississippi River last week leaving 2 crewmembers missing, has been located.
Ricky Boyette, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman, said salvaging of the vessel would not begin until the river stages and currents were at a safer level, but that coordination of the salvage effort had begun. The location of the tugboat was not yet being released to avoid interference with work efforts.
The tugboat sank March 12 near Chalmette and Algiers, around mile-marker 90.5. The boat’s captain was rescued by a nearby good Samaritan vessel, the Earl Gonsoulin, as the vessel was sinking. The U.S. Coast Guard and numerous other agencies searched the river for crewmembers Malon Dawsey and Karl Prince. The search was suspended after 43 hours when they ultimately found no sign of the men.
A flood warning was issued in the New Orleans area as a result of the rising Mississippi River the day the tugboat sank. The river has been experiencing seasonal flooding as ice melt and rainfall from upstream bottleneck on the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The river ultimately peaked at 43.78 feet in Baton Rouge on March 21, making it the 9th highest crest on record dating back to the 1880s.
The New Orleans maritime lawyers at The Lambert Firm represent clients in all types of maritime accidents, including those that occur on inland waterways such as the Mississippi River. If you are a river worker who was injured in an accident or the family member of a worker who was killed, contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.