Approximately 420 gallons of crude oil spilled into the lower Mississippi River near Convent, Louisiana yesterday after the 751-foot bulk carrier Privocean broke free from her moorings and drifted down river into a moored 98-foot towing vessel, then an 816-foot crude oil tanker that was offloading crude at a nearby terminal.
The U.S. Coast Guard says the tanker Bravo was able to conduct an emergency shut down of the offloading systems, however shortly thereafter, she broke from her moorings and was forced to uncouple from the loading arms which was the source of the oil discharge.
Crewmembers of the tug were taken to local hospital but no injuries have been been reported.
After the allision, the two vessels drifted down river until the Bravo was able to anchor herself approximately a half mile away with the assistance of two tugs. The Privocean managed to get underway and anchor on her own at mile marker 162.
As a result of the incident, the U.S. Coast Guard closed the Mississippi River from mile marker 163 to mile marker 154.
The Bravo currently has a three tug escort, the vessel is stable but taking on water in the ballast tanks. The Bravo’s propeller is currently fouled with a mooring line, but remains stable at anchor with tug escorts, according to the Coast Guard.