Salvage company continues preparations to move grounded barge near Sandbridge

PORTSMOUTH, Va.—The 580-foot barge La Princesa remains aground north of Sandbridge Pier in Virginia Beach.

Titan Maritime, LLC, continues preparations for salvaging the vessel and will attempt to begin operations when weather and sea conditions permit.

Members of the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Strike Team, the Virginia Port Authority’s Maritime Incident Response Team, the Virginia Beach Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Team and Crowley Maritime Corporation, the barge’s owner and operator, boarded the vessel earlier today to inspect the cargo for leaks and the vessel for structural integrity.

As a result of the inspection, the Coast Guard, MIRT, the Virginia Beach HazMat team and Crowley determined that the barge and its cargo currently pose no foreseeable threat to the environment or to the community.

Coast Guard personnel remain on-site and will continue to monitor salvage preparations. Tests revealed that no pollutants have been released into the air, and no chemical sheens have been reported on the water.

Friday’s effort by Crowley to ballast the vessel was effective. The barge moved 7 yards overnight and remains 135 yards north of the pier.

The tug and barge were traveling from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Pennsauken, N.J., when the barge broke loose 50 to 100 miles from shore on Friday morning.

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