Barge ship spilled some 160,000 gallons of heavy oil into Houston Ship Channel after collision.
By Danielle Haynes | March. 23, 2014 at 3:17 PMMarch. 23 (UPI) — A barge ship is spilling oil in the Houston Ship Channel after colliding with a ship Saturday near Texas City, Texas.
“It is an extremely serious spill,” said Coast Guard Capt. Brian Penoyer. “There is a large quantity, it will spread.”Coast Guard officials believe some 160,000 gallons of heavy oil have already spilled into the water. The barge contained 924,000 gallons of fuel oil.The barge was being towed by the Miss Susan from Texas to Bolivar at the time of the collision. All six crew members of the Miss Susan were accounted for and two were treated at the hospital for hydrogen sulfide exposure.
The accident has shut down marine traffic in the channel from the Intracoastal Waterway to lighter buoy 32, as well as the Bolivar ferry.
Cleanup continues in Galveston area oil spill
By Conor Harrison on March 23, 2014 in Texas Fishing
592174At approximately 12:35 p.m. yesterday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston received a call from the captain of the 585-foot bulk carrier Summer Wind, reporting a collision between the Summer Wind and a barge, containing 924,000 gallons of fuel oil, towed by the motor vessel Miss Susan.The motor vessel Miss Susan was transiting from Texas City to Bolivar at the time of the collision. Kirby Inland Marine, owner of the motor vessel Miss Susan and the barges, activated its emergency response plan immediately and is working in a unified response with the Coast Guard and the Texas General Land Office, which are on scene.A sheen of oil has been reported on the water, but the quantity of product released is unknown at this time.Efforts to contain and recover oil spilled after a collision that occurred Saturday in the Houston Ship Channel continue with an aggressive deployment of all available response resources, Sunday.
Lightering operations to transfer remaining oil from the damaged barge are expected to be complete today. After the barges are decontaminated the damaged barge will be taken to a local shipyard for assessment and needed repairs.
The primary emphasis remains the safety of response personnel working in the area and the protection of environmentally sensitive habitats, including birds and marine life.
The Unified Command, consisting of a wide variety of federal, state and local government agencies have expanded the safety zone to include all areas between Lighted Buoy 3 and Lighted Buoy 40, to prevent other vessels from interfering with the response efforts and from inadvertently facilitating the spread of oil.
Approximately 35,000 feet of boom has been deployed in containment efforts and to mitigate the affect on the environment. The area immediately surrounding the damaged barge was quickly boomed on Saturday afternoon. The maximum capacity of the breached tank is 168,000 gallons of marine fuel oil. The amount of released product still being assessed at this time.
The Bolivar ferry continues to be closed and persons with questions regarding transportation issues may contact 409-795-2230. On going air monitoring continues to show that there is no potential harm to residents or businesses in the area.
Wildlife Response Services, a Texas-based wildlife rehabilitation service has also been deployed to assist with any impacted birds or marine life. Persons who observe any impacted wildlife are urged to call 888-384-2000. As of 10 a.m. Sunday, there have been no reports of affected marine or wildlife.