Freighter Runs Aground In Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the grounding of a 378-foot Panamanian-flagged freight vessel that happened about 400 yards east of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay after the the vessel reportedly lost main propulsion at about 5 a.m. today.

Two 25-foot response boats and one 41-foot boat from Sector St. Petersburg responded to the scene and the Coast Guard Captain of the Port established a safety zone restricting vessel traffic in the main shipping channel of Tampa Bay. Vessel traffic from Port Manatee to Eggmont Channel is closed to inbound and outbound vessel traffic. Vessels traveling north of Port Manatee are not affected by the safety zone. Additionally a 100-yard safety zone is in place around the Antilles II.

No injuries, pollution or damage to the bridge were reported in conjunction with the incident. The Antilles II is reported to have a cargo of 10,000 metric tons of phosphate and 78 metric tons of fuel and 20 liters of lube oil. The ocean bottom in the area where the Antilles II grounded is reported to consist of limestone, oyster beds and mud.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Center received a call at about 5 a.m. from a Cooperative Vessel Traffic System (CVTS) watchstander, reporting that the Antilles II was aground south of the shipping channel.

Coast Guard marine inspectors and investigators will investigate the incident to determine the causes of the grounding.

“While not a routine event, the loss of power by vessels is an event we and our partner agencies have planned and trained for,” said Captain Joseph Servideo, commander of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “Today’s joint response demonstrates the benefits of that planning and training.”

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