The body of one crewmember of the tugboat J.R. Nichols was recovered yesterday, the day after the vessel sank near the Sims Bayou turning basin with five men on board.  The name of the crewmember has not been released.  The search included the Coast Guard and the Houston Police Dive Team.

The 56-foot tugboat owned by Kinder Morgan submerged in the Houston Ship Channel must be raised before it can be determined why it sank this week.  The tugboat will be raised no sooner than this weekend, and only then if the weather is acceptable.

Workers from the nearby LyondellBasell refinery helped rescue four crewmembers after the tug Wednesday evening in the Houston Ship Channel.  The four crewmembers who were rescued were treated for hypothermia.

The tug’s sinking spilled hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel in the Houston Ship Channel, and a stretch of channel still remains closed during operations to recover the tug.  The captain of the Port of Houston closed the Houston Ship Channel from the Vopack facility to Sims Bayou in order to conduct the search.  Barriers are containing the spill.

For more information on the dangers of working at sea, litigation related to oil spills, or the legislation protecting offshore workers, please contact SMSH Legal at (713) 364-0723.  If you have been injured while working for a maritime employer or have questions about your maritime rights, please contactSchechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  today at [email protected] or toll-free at (713) 364-0723.