Leaking Freighter Flees Gail Force Winds In Gulf Of Mexico
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A leaking freighter with 22 crew members aboard escaped gale force winds and plowed toward calmer waters today, and the Coast Guard said it no longer appeared the ship would have to be abandoned.
A rescue jet from Corpus Christi, Texas, had dropped a life raft to the crew of the Feder Gulf on Friday, and the pilot reported waves washing across the decks of the ship, Coast Guard spokesman Chuck Kalnbach said.
But today the 330-foot freighter was not in imminent danger of sinking, said Coast Guard Lt. Bill Baumgartner.
″The situation appears to be well under control. Another merchant vessel is escorting the Feder Gulf,″ he said. ″The weather is already improving. She’s running from the weather.,″
About 2:30 a.m. CST today, the ship was approximately 400 miles south of New Orleans and expected to reach the Cayo Arenas reef off of Progresso, Mexico, this morning, Baumgartner said.
The ship was expected to anchor on the reef until the weather improved and then continue to Progresso, he said.
The Coast Guard said it did not know why the freighter began leaking on a trip from Mobile, Ala., to Tampico, Mexico, with a cargo of grain.