Bodies of Two Missing Waymon L Boyd Crew Members Recovered

Mike Schuler
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August 25, 2020

The Coast Guard, along with partner agencies search Aug. 22, 2020, for the missing crew members from the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd which caught fire Aug. 21 in the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel. The fire onboard was extinguished after the vessel broke apart and sunk. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The bodies of two missing crew members from the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd have been recovered after a portion of the vessel was recovered from the Corpus Christi Ship Channel on Monday.

“We can confirm that all four missing crewmen have been recovered,” said Mark Stauffer, CEO of Orion Marine Group, which owns the dredge.

The portion of the dredging vessel was located in the middle of the channel during diving operations Sunday.

With the recovery, all four missing crew members are now accounted for and the families have been notified, the Coast Guard said.

Pollution response and salvage operations of the dredging vessel are ongoing. As of Tuesday, approximately 1,600 gallons of diesel fuel has been removed from the water, according to the Coast Guard.

The fire on the dredge Waymon L Boyd broke out around 8 a.m. on Friday, August 21, at the Port of Corpus Christi, causing the vessel to break up and sink. A U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter rescued two crew members with injuries. Four others were missing.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

The Captain of the Port has a modified safety zone in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to allow vessel traffic throughout the Inner Harbor with restrictions.

Neither the authorities nor the Orion Marine Group have disclosed what might have caused the explosion and fire, however local media reported that the vessel may have struck a natural gas pipeline during dredging operations in the Corpus Christi ship channel.

“We are grateful to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, and the rest of the associated agencies for their tireless efforts in assisting in the search and recovery efforts,” said Stauffer. “We are devastated by the loss of four of our colleagues, each of whom has been a valuable part of the Orion team for many years. Our heartfelt prayers and sympathy are extended to their families and friends, and we ask that everyone please respect their privacy as we all work to recover from this terrible incident.”

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