The U.S. Coast Guard has reopened a 10-mile stretch of the Mississippi River above Head of Passes after it was deemed safe for navigation, The Times-Picayune reports.
A portion of the river had been closed after C-Pec, a 48-foot-long tugboat, capsized and sank on July 6 at mile marker eight above Head of Passes near Venice, La. The search for the sunken tug continues using sonar surveys conducted by vessels from the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as six contracted vessels. The Coast Guard said the cause of the tug’s capsizing and sinking remains under investigation.
The corps has completed two survey passes from mile marker eight to mile marker zero above Head of Passes without identifying navigation hazards, according to a news release from the Coast Guard. Contracted survey vessels also conducted channel centerline surveys from mile marker zero through Southwest Pass below Head of Passes to the Gulf of Mexico without finding navigation hazards.
Nevertheless, the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans has reopened the segment from mile marker zero to mile marker 10 only to one-way vessel traffic.
The closing of the river delayed the arrival of 22 cargo vessels that were expecting to travel upriver on July 7 and the departure of 28 vessels awaiting access to the Gulf of Mexico, Coast Guard officials said.