Tugboat sinks in Mississippi River after crash

Tugboat sinking in Mississippi River after crash
Published: Dec. 14, 2015 at 8:49 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2015 at 6:47 PM CST
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(Source: WMC Chopper 5)
(Source: WMC Chopper 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Two tugboats crashed Monday in the Mississippi River just south of the Interstate 55 bridge.

Nobody was injured in the crash, but the Coast Guard and local agencies continue to monitor the crash site, more than 24 hours after the crash.

The Coast Guard launched a 25-foot support boat to help marine investigators and inspectors working the crash.

The Margaret Ann and William Strait vessels made plans to pass each other, but they incorrectly gauged the distance and ended up colliding at around 12:30 p.m on Monday.

A photo submitted by a viewer shows the William Strait sinking in 20 feet of water.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it has set up a safety zone around the crash. Divers and cleanup crews are monitoring the crash for any debris or leaks that may pose a problem.

Divers were sent out to find out if any harmful chemicals made it into the water.

The Coast Guard is only confirming there is a sheen on the water and have not said if there is a fuel or oil leak. At this time, they believe no harmful chemicals have leaked into the water.

The Coast Guard released the following statement Monday:

Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River command center received a notification of a collision between the towing vessels Margaret Ann and the William Strait at mile marker 727 on the Lower Mississippi River. The William Straight sank in 20 feet of water.

A Coast Guard 25-foot small boat crew from the Sector Lower Mississippi River along with an HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama and local pollution response agencies are on scene responding.

- U.S. Coast Guard

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