The accident occurred at 1124 on a clear day with excellent visibility
in the Sabine-Neches Ship Channel,
about 3.5 miles upriver from the end of the Sabine Jetties.
Both vessels were headed downriver.
The Genmar Strength, which was empty, was proceeding at about 8.5 knots,
according to Lt. Ian Bird, of the CG MSO Port Arthur texas.
The 110 ft Rene I was traveling at about 6.5 knots
because there is a no wake zone between the Sabine Pilots station
and the Coast Guard station at that point in the channel,
according to Jim Skiles of Laborde Marine of Morgan City.
which operates Rene I.
The channel is about 500 yards wide where the collision accorred,
according to Bird.
Rene I has left the dock at Horizon Offshore at about 1055
to make a trip to a Horizon pipe-laying barge offshore.
The OSV was going south in the channel
following the green buoys to starboard, Skiles said.
When Rene I pulled into the channel,
Genmar Strength was not visible to the captain, according to Skiles.
The tanker came from around a bend inthe channel, he said.
The tankler struck Rene I on its starboard bow,
then scraped along the side of the OSV, according to Bird.
The OSV immediately rolled over and began sinking.
The Genmar Strength struck the supply vessel
a second time on its port side,
kncking a hole 36 inches wide by 48 inches high into Rene 1.