Grounded tanker in Mississippi River freed
NEW ORLEANS - A grounded oil tanker on the Mississippi River has been freed from the mud where it got stranded about 5 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
The 800-foot tanker Ratna Puja was southbound carrying a load of carbon black oil when it got stuck Monday night. Ships were able to get around the stranded vessel, but the incident highlighted the dangers of the swollen Mississippi.
This high river season the Mississippi is carrying much more mud and sediment than it usually does and the Army Corps of Engineers, cash-strapped like other federal agencies, has not been able to keep up with the silting river.
A.J. Gibbs, the head of the Crescent River Port Pilots' Association, warned that more groundings could happen unless more dredges are put to work.