Two Freighters Collide on Mississippi River Near New Orleans

A freighter heading down the Mississippi River struck another that was anchored west of New Orleans, knocking a huge gash in the anchored vessel, the Coast Guard said Monday.

The anchored ship was listing but the hole was above the water line and the vessel was not believed to be taking on water, said Chief Petty Officer Veronica Bandrowsky. No injuries were reported. A rescue helicopter and vessels dispatched after the accident was reported were later recalled, Petty Officer 2nd Class Nyx Cangemi said.

The vessels were the 712-foot Greek-flagged Zagora, which was heading down river at the Kenner Bend area to the west of New Orleans, and the 737-foot Panamanian-flagged Torm Anholt, which was at anchor at the time of the collision.

The Torm Anholt had a 12-foot-high, 6-foot-long gash in its starboard side 6 to 9 feet above the water line, the Coast Guard said. The ship listed after being struck but the tilt may have been due to a loss of ballast, the Coast Guard said. There were no reports of damage to the Zagora.

The Coast Guard established a one-way traffic safety zone in the area, Bandrowsky said, but river traffic was not halted. The accident was reported about 3:30 p.m.

Rescue helicopters and vessels were in the area in case they were needed, Bandrowsky said.