Cargo ships collide on Mississippi River near New Orleans; 1 vessel listing

Monday, October 16th 2006, 10:14 pm
By: News On 6

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A cargo ship heading down the Mississippi River struck another vessel anchored near New Orleans on Monday, knocking a huge gash in the anchored vessel.

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 Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Veronica Bandrowsky. No injuries were reported.

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

The Torm Anholt had a 12-foot-wide, 6-foot-long gash in its right side 6 to 9 feet above the water line. 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, but river traffic was not halted, Bandrowsky said.