Saturday, December 17, 2005
The U.S. Coast Guard searched for a deckhand off the Mississippi coast after a towboat hit a shrimping vessel, killing the wife of the captain and sending her husband to the hospital, authorities said. About 6:15 a.m., the crew of a 60-foot towing vessel reported to the Coast Guard that it had hit an anchored shrimp boat in Pass Marianne about 8 miles south of Bay St. Louis.
Three people were thrown overboard from the shrimp boa,t including the missing deckhand, Julious Cusitas, said Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard in New Orleans. All of the people on board of the shrimp boat live in Pensacola, Ben-Iesau said. The spokeswoman did not know from where the boat had launched. About 1 p.m., Lien Dinh was found dead about two miles from where the accident took place, Ben-Iesau said. Ben-Iesau said that at the time of the accident the woman was sleeping below deck. While his wife slept, Giau V. Dinh stood on deck, Ben-Iesau said. Giau Dinh was rescued by the crew of the towboat and taken by the Coast Guard to paramedics at Pass Christian Harbor, Ben-Iesau said. He was then taken to a local hospital. The shrimp boat, the Johnny T. Kiten, 60 to 75 feet long, had been anchored to allow the crew to rest, Ben-Iesau said. Ben-Iesau said that the shrimp boat ended up underneath the towboat, a 60-footer named the Skat. "I understand there is a pretty good debris field," the spokeswoman said. After the accident, a light sheen of oil or fuel was reported, but has since dissipated, Ben-Iesau said. The waterway remained open. A investigation was under way and several Coast Guard rescue crews, including a jet crew from Mobile, were working to locate the deckhand. Rescuers were scheduled to resume searching at first light today.