Coast Guard Investigating Pollution on the 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.

At approximately 11 a.m. today, divers contracted by the owners of the OMAHA plugged the four of the vessels eight fuel vents, which were allowing fuel to leak from the fuel tanks into the Missouri River.
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. The Coast Guard is monitoring the effect of the waterway closure on commercial traffic in order to both minimize the economic impact while allowing or safe recovery operations to proceed.

Environmentally sensitive areas along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers have been identified and appropriate protective measures continue to be deployed. The Coast Guard continues to oversee the efforts to minimize the effects of pollution as a result of the incident. Divers have been used to assess the status of the towing vessel OMAHA and to seal the fuel tank vents to prevent fuel from leaking any further.

The Coast Guard is actively working with the vessel owner to produce a productive salvage plan to remove the vessel at the earliest opportunity.

Salvage equipment is expected to arrive Monday.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident,

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