March 2, 2004
Formal investigation of Lee III incident begins
The Coast Guard wass scheduled to convene a formal investigation today to gather information into the collision between the offshore vessel Lee III and motor vessel Zim Mexico III in which five Lee III crew members were lost. The fact finding inquiry, which is presided over by a one-person board, will will continue through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The investigation will be open to the public and the media.
The Mississippi Rivers Southwest Pass was opened Sunday at 10 p.m. after salvage crews completed the removal of the offshore supply vessel Lee III.
The upriver-bound 534-foot cargo ship Zim Mexico III and the downbound 178-foot Lee III reportedly collided at 5:20 a.m on Feb 21.. After the collision, the Lee III capsized.