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Boat Capsizes in Louisiana – Body of Crewmember Found, One Still Missing

Law Firm of Walter Gabriel Jan. 18, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019, two people aboard a workboat were reported missing after their vessel capsized in the Mississippi River near Boothville, Louisiana.

24-year-old Katelyn Carlisle and 48-year-old Ruben Arellano were taking part in a boom deployment exercise conducted by their employer, Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC), when their 32-foot vessel capsized.

According to Marine Spill Response Corporation, Carlisle, Arellano and three other crewmembers were on a Munson boat that was towing boom attached to another MSRC vessel at the time it capsized. Authorities were notified of the incident just before 11 am Wednesday morning.

The US Coast Guard from the New Orleans and Venice stations, along with the Plaquemines Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and Branch Pilot took part in search efforts on water and by air. Poor weather conditions and currents reportedly rising to 4 knots hampered search and rescue operations over the last few days. The Coast Guard released a statement announcing that it suspended its search on Thursday evening, after a 27-hour search spanning nearly 130 square nautical miles. Law enforcement officials in Plaquemines Parish are now spearheading efforts.

The body of Ruben Arellano was recovered by Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office after a salvage team successfully recovered Marine Spill Response Corporation’s workboat on Friday afternoon. Search crews have still been unable to locate the missing 24-year-old woman.

According to the company’s website, Marine Spill Response Corporation is a not-for-profit organization offering oil spill response services that help mitigate damage to the environment. Katelyn Carlisle’s family describe her as having great work ethic, adding she enjoyed “saving the environment.”

The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel sends heartfelt condolences to the families of Ms. Katelyn Carlisle and Mr. Ruben Arellano. It is our hope that these families receive the answers they deserve. Additionally, we expect their rights will be protected and enforced under the law.

Data collected over an eight-year period revealed more than 1,300 crew member injuries owed to tugboat and barge accidents similar to the workboat involved in this tragedy.

An employer can be held liable for injury of loss of life, depending on the circumstances surrounding the maritime accident.

If you or someone you know suffered an injury aboard a water vessel, you could be entitled to compensation under the law. Contact the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel for a FREE CONSULTATION with a maritime injury attorney to learn more about legal rights under the law.