GRAMERCY — The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies continued searching Monday afternoon for a tugboat crewman who went into the Mississippi River late Sunday night in St. James Parish, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexandria Preston, spokeswoman for the Coast Guard, said Monday ships and aircraft were looking for the crewman across a 54-mile stretch of river between White Castle south of Baton Rouge to Waggaman in Jefferson Parish. 

The Coast Guard in New Orleans received a call from the tugboat Miss Courtney about the crewman, a Hispanic man in his early 30s, wearing dark clothes who disappeared sometime after 11:15 p.m. Sunday.

Preston said Monday she could not speculate how the man might have gotten in the water or when the search might conclude but added that a helicopter first started searching at 11:26 p.m. Sunday. 

The Coast Guard had an MH-56 Dolphin helicopter, a twin-engine HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing plane and a 29-foot ship searching for the man. A Port of South Louisiana vessel was also searching for the man, the Coast Guard said.

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