Houston Shipping Channel Reopens to All

February 17, 2010

Salvages crews recovered the tug vessel J.R. Nichols early the morning of Feb. 13, and the Houston Ship Channel was reopened at 1:15 p.m. to all traffic.

The salvage vessel Big John hoisted the sunken 56-ft tug vessel from the Houston Ship Channel at 2 a.m. The J.R. Nichols sank in the ship channel Wednesday evening with five crew members onboard. Four of the five were recovered with minor injuries, while the fifth crew member was recovered deceased by salvage crews Feb. 11.

The J.R. Nichols is currently moored near the Lyondell facility as the investigation continues into why the vessel sank. Absorbent boom has been deployed to contain the fuel that spilled from the tug, and while cleanup efforts continue.

The cause of the vessels' sinking is under investigation. Any inquiries regarding the deceased crew member should be directed to the Harris County Medical Examiner's office.
 

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