October 18, 1995 in Nation/World

15 Pulled From Flotsam Of Hurricane-Battered Barge

Associated Press
 

Clinging to wreckage and wearing life jackets, 15 survivors from a barge that sank in hurricane-churned seas were pulled from waves off the Mexican coast Tuesday.

“They are not well, but I have had no report of anything serious,” said Octavio Best, the chief of navigation at Ciudad del Carmen.

The barge, battered by Hurricane Roxanne, sank Sunday in the Bay of Campeche with at least 245 on board. Five were confirmed dead, including one American: James Vines, 47, of Winnsboro, La.

Roxanne was downgraded to a tropical storm early Tuesday, the second downgrading on its erratic journey in which it has twice roughed up the Gulf Coast since striking Mexico last week.

The storm still pounded the Mexican coast Tuesday, driving seawater through the streets of Ciudad del Carmen, which flooded homes and forced thousands into emergency shelters.

The hurricane had whipped up 30-foot-high seas as it pummeled dozens of communities with storm surges and 80-mph winds Sunday night.

At least 236 of the 245 people aboard the sunken barge were rescued.

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