Coast Guard to hold media availability, public hearing for Bouchard No. 255 tank barge incident

united states coast guard

News Release

July 13, 2018
U.S. Coast Guard 8th District Heartland
Media Contact: 504-330-3087

Bouchard Hearing Online Newsroom

Coast Guard to hold media availability, public hearing for Bouchard No. 255 tank barge incident

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard is scheduled to conduct a formal public hearing beginning Monday at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston to consider evidence related to an incident that occurred aboard the Bouchard No. 255 tank barge, and media is invited to attend.

An explosion, fire, and subsequent loss of life occurred aboard the Bouchard Barge No. 255 tank barge off the coast of Texas October 20, 2017.

The hearing is scheduled to convene at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston at 8 a.m. Monday and will continue to July 27, 2018. The address is 13411 Hillard Street, Houston, TX, 77034. Coast Guard spokespeople will be available for media interviews at 7:30 a.m. Monday before the hearing begins. The hearing will also be streamed live each day at

The hearing will focus on the condition of the barge prior to and at the time of the casualty, Bouchard Transportation organizational structure and culture, the regulatory compliance record of the Bouchard No. 255 tank barge and the towing vessel Buster Bouchard, and the Coast Guard inspections program.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting its own investigation, will fully participate in the formal public hearing.

The Coast Guard has established an e-mail address for the public and interested parties to provide information, ask questions and make comments related to the ongoing investigation and scheduled hearing. This e-mail will be checked regularly and all correspondence will be acknowledged. The e-mail is

Additional information about the hearing, to include the schedule, fact sheets and biographies, as well as any future news releases and documentation can be found here.

Media planning to interview Coast Guard spokespeople during the media availability or to attend the hearing must R.S.V.P. by calling 504-330-3087. Press credentials and valid government-issued photo identification is required for media access onto the base. Members of the public who wish to attend the hearing must present valid government-issued photo identification for access onto the base. Weapons may not be brought onto the base. There will be a one-to-one-and-a-half-hour break for lunch each day of the hearing. Lunch will not be provided and is not available for purchase on the base.