Towboat Sinks in Upper Mississippi River

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to the reported sinking of a towing vessel early Thursday morning in the upper Mississippi River near Chester, Illinois, southeast of St. Louis.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received the initial report of the Maverick sinking at mile marker 105 at approximately 12:30 a.m.. Both of the two crewmembers were able to escape the sinking vessel and were safely rescued by the towing vessel Hortense B Ingram, the Coast Guard said. The two crewmembers were examined at a local hospital with no reported injuries.

The Coast Guard established a safety zone from mile marker 104 to 106 on the upper Mississippi River until the location of the sunken vessel is confirmed.

The Maverick was carrying an estimated 3,500 gallons of diesel fuel and an undetermined amount of lube oil when it sank.

Pollution cleanup, salvage, and dive contractors have been contacted and are enroute to respond to this incident. There are currently no reports of fuel in the water. Personnel from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah, Kentucky, will supervise any response and recovery efforts.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.