The 334 meter long, 101505 dwt container ship Belita ran aground on the Mississippi River near Poydras, Louisiana. The Belita had struck a riprap along the shoreline, but sustained no damage. The vessel remained aground until a few hours later when it was allowed to proceed. No reports of injuries, damage or pollution released. The cause of the incident is under investigation by the Coast Guard.
The 9 meter long towboat Miss Odessa with six barges ran aground on the Atchafalaya River near Berwick Louisiana. The Miss Odessa was travelling south with six barges loaded with rock when it struck bottom turning at the entrance of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. While refloating itself, the Miss Odessa put too much strain on one of the barges, ACL 01700, causing the hopper barge to break-in-two and sink.
The Miss Odessa alerted the Coast Guard who dispatched a marine inspection team to the scene. The Coast Guard arrived on scene and found the Miss Odessa and the remaining five barges had no damage. A towing company was hired to help salvage the sunken barge. No reports of injuries or pollution released.
On January 26, the 61 meter long towboat Cooperative Spirit collided with the 22 meter long towboat RC Creppel on the Mississippi River off Luling, Louisiana. The Cooperative Spirit proceeded upbound on the river when it struck the RC Creppel and two barges ladden with sulfuric acid. The barges broke away and the RC Creppel quickly sank. One barge sustained damage and released vapor in the air. The Cooperative Spirit also reported significant damage, but remained afloat.
Authorities were alerted and the Coast Guard dispatched a response boat and a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from New Orleans. Traffic on the Mississippi River was halted while the barges could be secured while searching for the four crew of the RC Creppel. One crewman from the RC Creppel was pulled from the water by a nearby boat.
Authorities continued a search into the following day, but no signs of the remaining 3 crewmen. Reports state the search and rescue operation finally ended after 67 hours of searching. The Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the incident.