Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tug Boat Captain Missing on the Mississippi

A tug boat sank on the Mississippi River early today and the vessel's captain is missing. The Coast Guard says the John One-One went down about four-and-a-half miles south of the Interstate 310 bridge in Saint Charles Parish. Two crew members were aboard a barge that the tug was preparing to take control of when the accident occurred. Petty Officer Tara Mitchell says the boat sank with the captain aboard. He has been identified as 40-year-old Chester Cheramie. An aerial search lasting more than six hours was called off this afternoon. Local harbor officials continued to search the river with boats, but that search was also called off this evening.
The Coast Guard is investigation why the vessel went down.The river level is high and the current is especially strong because of upriver snow melt and spring rains, but the Coast Guard did not know whether that was a factor in the sinking of the tug.

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