All Arthur J fuel valves and vents secured, diesel fuel spill secured

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsPORT HURON, Mich. — The Arthur J Incident Command, based at Coast Guard Station Port Huron, continued the response toward the clean up and salvage of the 110-foot dredge barge and 38-foot tug that sank one mile east of Lakeport, Mich., at first light this morning.

All the fuel valves and vents on the Arthur J have been plugged.

The Arthur J has ten vents to its fuel tank and responders where able to plug four of them early Thursday afternoon, but six remained open until responders were able to plug them late Thursday night.

The impact to the shoreline has been minimal; however there is visible sheening along the shores of Lakeport, but there has been no report of a thick product wash ashore. However, there is still a strong diesel odor in the air, so residents and visitors of the lower Lake Huron area are encouraged to avoid areas where there is an odor in the air. Those who live in the area should remain inside with doors and windows closed as much as possible.

Beaches from Blue Water Bridge north to Lakeport State Park remain closed according to the Michigan State Health Department.

The weather and lake conditions are not optimal for product clean up, but the clean-up efforts continue vigilantly. There has been no report of impacted wildlife.

The Captain of the Port located at Coast Guard Sector Detroit has not approved a salvage plan yet and will continue to work with MCM Marine, the responsible party and owners of both sunken vessels, to finalize a salvage plan as soon as possible.

The cause of the accident is unknown, and the Coast Guard is investigating.

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