Search Suspended for Two Missing After Anti-Pollution Support Boat Capsizes During Exercise on Lower Mississippi River

Louisiana responder
Photo: MarineTraffic/

Update (01/17/2019): The Coast Guard ended its search for two people near mile marker 18 on the Mississippi River near Bootheville, Louisiana, Thursday.

The Coast Guards searched approximately 130 square nautical miles for 27 hours.

Previous (01/16/2019): The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies are searching for two people in the water near Bootheville, Louisiana after the support boat they were on capsized during a training exercise involving the oil spill response vessel Louisiana Responder.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans reported that watchstanders received a report at approximately 10:40 a.m. on Wednesday of a capsized 32-foot vessel with two people aboard in the vicinity of mile marker 18 on the lower Mississippi River.

A spokesperson for the Coast Guard confirmed that the capsized vessel was participating in exercise with the Louisiana Responder when the incident occurred. 

NBC New Orleans reporter Travers Mackel said on Twitter that the vessel had five workers on board when it capsized. Three people were subsequently rescued.

The Coast Guard identified the missing as Katelyn Carlisle and Rueben Arellano. 

Louisiana Responder is a Responder-Class Oil Spill Response Vessel belonging to Marine Spill Response Corporation. According to MSRC’s website, the vessel is equipped with a single 32-foot Munson Support Boat that is stored on the aft deck and deployed for site assessment and characterization and on water boom and tow line operations. 

The vessel is based in the Fort Jackson, Lousiana area.

Involved in the response are:

  • Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews
  • Coast Guard Station Venice 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew
  • Coast Guard Station Venice 24-foot Special Purpose Craft boatcrew
  • Plaquemines Sheriff’s Office helicopter aircrew
  • Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries boatcrew
  • Branch Pilot boatcrew

River traffic is restricted from mile marker 15 to mile marker 18. The current queue of vessels is 4 vessel northbound, 10 inbound, and 15 southbound.