Tow Vessel Omaha Salvaged from Missouri River, Pollution Contained

ST. LOUIS – The Coast Guard, in coordination with the vessel OMAHA owners, contractor Okie Moore Salvage and Diving and federal, state and local agencies have salvaged the vessel OMAHA.

The proactive placement of boom in several areas along the Missouri River and its tributaries, and double boom around the vessel have successfully captured the majority of fuel that has leaked out during the salvage. This fuel has been cleaned up by the owner’s contractor Environmental Restoration.

The contractor has pumped off the fuel from the vessel, although a small amount of residual fuel still exists in the tanks. The threat of pollution has been significantly decreased. The total fuel spilled has been estimated at approximately 5,050 gallons, with a significant quantity of that amount recovered through booming, absorbent pads, skimmers, and a vacuum truck.

The vessel will be moved from its current location to National Shipyard in Hartford, Illinois.

The owners of the vessel and the Coast Guard have worked closely together, proactively taking all necessary precautions and actions to ensure the safest and most effective salvage was conducted. Inter-agency operations have been most effective, including the Army Corps of Engineers, St. Charles Emergency Management, Metro Air Support, St. Charles County Sheriff, Environmental Protection Agency, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Water Patrol, Twin Rivers Search and Rescue, City of St. Louis Water Division, St. Charles County Hazardous Material Team and River Point Fire and Rescue.

A portion of the Missouri River between mile markers 10.5 and 11.7 remains closed to commercial traffic and recreational boaters are urged to exercise extreme caution in the area of the salvage operation.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. Friday, May 30, the towing vessel OMAHA reported to the Coast Guard that they were taking on water with 7 persons on board. In order to mitigate the risk to the crew, the vessels crew intentionally grounded the vessel along the bank of the Missouri River and used mooring lines to secure it to the shore. The crew was safely rescued and there were no reported injuries.

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