On April 19, 2016, at around 9:00 a.m., a tugboat with a crew of five people onboard became submerged underwater on the San Jacinto River. At the time of the incident, the tugboat was located about a half mile south of the I-10 bridge, just outside of Houston, Texas. Four crew members were rescued from the river, but a fifth crew member was unaccounted for. Traffic was restricted along a stretch of the San Jacinto River during the search, and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office along with the United States Coast Guard recovered the fifth crewmember’s body a short time later. The tugboat is identified as the Ricky J Leboeuf. A Coast Guard spokesman says salvage crews were on the scene Wednesday to try to locate and raise the tugboat.
The sheriff’s office said the reason for the tugboat becoming submerged is unknown, however the U.S. Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the accident. Security video captured the tugboat up against the barge before it capsized and sank.
The incident comes as the region was hit by unprecedented rainfall, with more than a foot of rain reported in Houston. Flooding has been blamed for at least seven deaths.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured while working offshore, contact one of the experienced maritime attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner for a free consultation by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.