Coast Guard closes Intracoastal Waterway in Port O’Connor

8th Coast Guard District NewsCORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard closed a 2-mile section of the Intracoastal Waterway to create a safety zone around a grounded tug and barge, Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a call at 6:15 a.m. reporting a tug with two barges ran aground near mile marker 474 in the ICW.

The tug Bolivar Point was towing two barges with approximately 50,000 barrels of alkylate when it struck a boathouse on the northern shore of the ICW. There were no reports of injury or pollution.

At approximately 6:30 a.m., a 25-foot Response Boat – Small and crew were launched from Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor to investigate the incident. The crew reported the Bolivar Point blocked passage on the ICW.

Station Port O’Connor and the Coast Guard Cutter Brant have established a safety zone from mile markers 473 to 475 while awaiting assistance from the Bolivar Point’s sister tug.

“Immediate action responding to this emergency was needed to protect people, property and infrastructure,” said Lt. j.g. Erik Heithaus, waterways management duty officer. “The safety zone was established to ensure safety from the hazards associated with two barges blocking the waterway and debris from the destroyed boathouse, and to assist the resulting emergency response efforts.”

The incident is currently under investigation.

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