Coast Guard responds to grounded tug and barge

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MILWAUKEE — The Coast Guard and members of the Chicago Fire Department responded Monday afternoon to the grounding of the
vessel Kimberly Selvick and two attached barges about one quarter mile east of Burnham Park in Chicago.

A rescue crew from the Chicago Fire Department Marine Unit successfully evacuated four crew members from the vessel. No injuries or pollution have been reported.

At 4:42 p.m. a Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan communications watchstander received a call over VHF-FM channel 16 from a crew member of the Kimberly Selvick reporting it had run aground while trying to retrieve two barges that broke free, and that the vessel was taking on water. The vessel is 55-foot tug and was pushing one rock barge and one crane barge at the time of the incident.

Upon notification of the grounding, boat crews aboard 45-foot and 25-foot response boats from Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor were dispatched to the location to render assistance. The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine broadcast issued on VHF-FM channel 16, which prompted the dispatch of the Chicago Fire Department dive boat.

The Kimberly Selvick remains partially submerged. It has a maximum capacity of 1,400 gallons of fuel. The boat crew aboard the 45-foot response boat remained on scene until dusk to evaluate the situation and check for any signs of pollution. A Chicago Fire Department helicopter and crew conducted an overflight of the area.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago personnel are investigating the incident. The Coast Guard will work with the owner of the vessel to ensure proper salvage arrangements are in place. A local tow boat company was scheduled to retrieve the two barges Monday night pending on-scene weather conditions. On Tuesday morning, members of a local salvage company are scheduled to arrive and commence dewatering and salvage operations.

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