Coast Guard investigates cause of collision in Houston Ship Channel

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TEXAS CITY, Texas — The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of a collision between the cargo ship Genius Star VII and a barge loaded with 840,000 gallons of #6 fuel oil in the Houston Ship Channel, Friday.

Watchstanders with Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Texas City received a report at approximately 8:30 p.m., on Friday concerning a collision, which occurred between a loaded barge and a 394-foot cargo ship loaded with grain. There has been no report of injuries or pollution from either vessel. Both vessels are reporting damage, but are in stable condition.

A Coast Guard small boat carrying marine inspectors and investigators from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unity Texas City get a closer look at the damage caused by a collision between this vessel, the cargo ship Genius Star VII and a barge carrying 840,000 gallons of fuel oil. There were no pollution or injuries associated with the collision. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

A Coast Guard small boat carrying marine inspectors and investigators from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unity Texas City get a closer look at the damage caused by a collision between this vessel, the cargo ship Genius Star VII and a barge carrying 840,000 gallons of fuel oil. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Marine inspectors and marine casualty investigators from Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston were dispatched to the barge to conduct a preliminary investigation and mitigate any risk to the environment. A response boat from Station Galveston was launched with a team of marine inspectors and marine casualty investigators from Marine Safety Unit Texas City to meet the Genius Star VII offshore and conduct a preliminary investigation, assess damage, and mitigate any risk to the environment or the mariners aboard the vessel.

“Due to the quick response of our marine safety professionals here at Texas City, a major environmental incident was avoided,” said Lt. Cmdr. Zeita Merchant, executive officer of Marine Safety Unit Texas City. “We were able to direct the vessels to safe locations to assess the overall damage and ensure the safety of the maritime community.”

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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