Unified command established for Savannah fuel spill

SAVANNAH, Ga. – A unified command has been established and is continuing to respond Monday to approximately 6,500 gallons of diesel fuel released into the Savannah River by the motor vessel Liberty Sunday morning at the Ocean terminal.

The unified command consists of representatives from the Coast Guard, Georgia Port Authority, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, National Park Service, O’Briens Response Management Group, Marine Spill Response Corps, and Crowley Maritime Corporation.

The source of the spill has been secured, and approximately 5,000 feet of boom has been placed in the river to minimize the further spread of diesel fuel. Additionally, 2,200 feet of absorbent boom and several skimmers have been put in place to recover as much fuel as possible.

An over flight was conducted Monday morning to access the environmental impact of the spill and has observed sheen from the Talmadge Memorial Bridge to Fort Jackson. Response crews have been deployed and are containing and recovering as much fuel as possible.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah is investigating the cause of the incident. The captain of the port has closed the Savannah River around the spill to vessel traffic and urges area mariners to use caution and avoid the area if possible.

Liberty, a 625-foot roll on/off vessel, reported a hull puncture while attempting to depart the Ocean terminal at approximately 11:30 a.m.

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