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Oil spill team responds to sinking tug in Mississippi

Tue 28 Feb 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Oil spill team responds to sinking tug in Mississippi
Vidalia, Louisiana, is a key crossing point of the lower Mississippi river

Oil spill response teams were mobilised on the lower Mississippi river after a 20m long tugboat partially sank. The US Coast Guard reacted to the sinking of Sunny J near Vidalia, Louisiana.

According to local reports, a marine surveyor and oil spill response organisation WT Drilling also rushed to the scene to contain any diesel fuel that had leaked from the stricken tugboat. The vessel was carrying around 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel when it foundered.

A containment boom and absorbent material was deployed around Sonny J and engineers plugged fuel tank vents that were above the water line. It is not yet known how or why the tugboat partially sunk, but investigations are underway.

On the North American West Coast, damaged tug Samson Mariner has started its route from Alaska to Seattle in Washington state for repair work. The US Coast Guard approved the passage plan for the tugboat that is being escorted by another tug.

Samson Mariner ran aground on the Rosa Reef while towing barge Saint Elias in Alaska’s Inside Passage northwest of Ketchikan. The US Coast Guard has also approved a plan by Brusco Tug & Barge Co to tow the barge Saint Elias for repairs. An investigation is underway into the accident in February.

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