Southwest Pass Open, Ship Traffic Moving Freely

May 10, 2010

VENICE - The Associated Branch Pilots, or Bar Pilots, reported today that ship traffic in and out of Southwest Pass at the mouth of the Mississippi river is moving freely and uninterrupted to do the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Bar Pilots are working with the Coast Guard and industry to closely monitor the situation. However, to date, there have been no reports of any oil on commercial cargo vessels entering the pass. Ships are being inspected upon entering the river and two cleaning stations have been set up for any contaminated vessels.

"The river is open and traffic is flowing smoothly," said Captain Michael Lorino, president of the Bar Pilots. "We are in constant contact with all parties involved in the oil leak situation and are prepared for any eventuality. But, to this point, we've been largely unaffected by the spill."

The Port of New Orleans is also reporting that there are no restrictions on ship traffic and no indication that there will be as conditions appear to be improving at Southwest Pass.

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