Coast Guard Continues Response to Boat Sinking and Pollution on Missouri River

St Charles, Mo. – The Coast Guard in cooperation with several other federal, state, and local agencies as well as the vessel owner continue to respond to the partial sinking of the towing vessel OMAHA on the Missouri River near West Alton, Mo.

The Missouri River remains closed to vessel traffic between miles 10.5 and 11.7. Recreational boaters should be advised of these conditions and use caution prior to operating in this area. There is a strong odor in the area and oil leaking from the vessel has created a sheen extending a little over eleven miles from the vessel. The sheen extends to where the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers meet. Several miles of river effected by the sheen remain open to traffic.
Environmentally sensitive areas along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers have been identified and measures are being taken to ensure appropriate protective actions are taken. As the federal on scene coordinator, the Coast Guard has oversight of efforts to minimize the effects of pollution as a result of the incident. The Coast Guard is actively engaging with the vessel owner who is designing salvage plans for the vessel.

The Coast Guard is monitoring the effect of the present waterway closure on commercial traffic in order to both minimize the economic impact while allowing for safe recovery operations to proceed.

Coast Guard investigators are looking into the cause of the incident.

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