Crewman found dead as tugboat capsizes on Houston area river

A crewman from a capsized tugboat was found dead in the San Jacinto River near Houston on Tuesday morning.

Four other crew members of the same boat were rescued after being dumped into the water.

The 22-metre tugboat Ricky J Leboeuf flipped over during record-setting heavy rainfall in the Houston and Harris County locality.

Some areas took as much as 17 inches of rain. Texas governor Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency in the area.

While the four survivors were saved fairly quickly a search was undertaken for the as-yet-unidentified missing fifth crewman, with US Coast Guard (USCG) deploying a helicopter, boat and dive team.

The man’s body was spotted from an MH-65 Short-Range Recovery Helicopter and was gathered in by a rescue boat.

Waterway traffic was restricted on a section of the river.

USCG would not confirm that the weather conditions contributed to the tug’s capsizing. The vessel was working near barges when it overturned.

The San Jacinto River runs from Lake Houston in Harris County to Galveston Bay.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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