Coast Guard continues responding to sunken vessel, oil discharge

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington members are responding to a sunken vessel with reports of discharging product near mile marker 8 on the Big Sandy River near Butler, West Virginia, January 10, 2018. Marine Safety Unit Huntington watchstanders received a report from the owner of the motor vessel Gate City sinking where it was moored. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington members responding to a sunken vessel with reports of discharging product near mile marker 8 on the Big Sandy River near Butler, West Virginia. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection continue response efforts with the sunken motor vessel Gate City on the Big Sandy River near Butler, West Virginia, Saturday.

The river remains open and no facilities have been affected. Spill response teams have recovered approximately 800 gallons of oil from the river with cleanup efforts continuing throughout the weekend. Heavy lift equipment from Cincinnati has been contracted and will be used to salvage the Gate City.

Kenova water intake is currently closed on the Big Sandy River. State and local officials are working to ensure water quality standards prior to opening the intake and potable water supply is not disrupted for nearby counties.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington received a report Wednesday of the towboat Gate City sunk at its mooring and is discharging oil into the river. Initial potential for the oil release was 5,000 gallons of oil and diesel, however, actual estimate of the total oil released has been revised to approximately 1,300 gallons.

The Coast Guard, along with West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection, are investigating the incident.

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