PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Two tugboats remain anchored in the water a few miles from Sabine Pass, with crews unable to dock the boats after months of being in limbo. Four crew members aboard one of the boats were finally relieved by a new crew last week.
After members of the crew told the U.S. Coast Guard on February 10 that they were planning to abandon the two tugboat and barge units, the Coast Guard issued "Captain of the Port" orders for both the M/V Danille M. Bouchard and the M/V Kim M. Bouchard. Bouchard Transportation, a company based in New York, owns the vessels.
One of the crew members on board previously reached out to 12News.
The crew member said the tugboats, which are connected to barges, have been sitting there anchored since November 26.
Father Sinclair Oubre serves as the executive director of the Port Arthur International Seafarers Center.
12News reached out to Oubre by phone about the tugboat crews.
He says a crew change was made on the ‘Danielle’ early last week. Four crew members got off the boat, and four new crew members got on. He says the situation is becoming a little more urgent as the captain issued an order for the ‘Danielle’ to dock because of mechanical issues.
Father Oubre says the technical issues are not life-threatening, but called them ‘troublesome.’
The tugboat hasn’t yet docked even though the order was issued.
He says Bouchard Transportation must address some financial problems in order for the tugboat to dock.
Oubre says the company paid for $4,000 worth of fresh fruits and veggies to be given to the crew members.
The drop was coordinated by the maritime community. One crew member also needed medication, and another drop off is planned this week to get that to the ship.