Barge Aground In Nanticoke River

BALTIMORE – The barge that ran aground Wednesday in the Nanticoke River remains aground today after multiple attempts to free it failed.

The tug Gold Coast and its sister ship the Palm Coast, attempted to pull the barge free Wednesday evening during high tide but were unable to move the barge. Another attempt by the tugs today also failed.

As part of the salvage plan that was approved by the Coast Guard, lightering operations are scheduled to begin today in an effort to lighten the barge and pull it free. Lightering is the process in which the cargo from the grounded barge is transfered to another vessel in order to make it lighter and easier to move.

At about 7 a.m. Wednesday, a crewmember aboard the tug Gold Coast notified the Coast Guard that the barge ran aground while transiting up the Nanticoke River towards Seaford, Del. The double-hulled barge is carrying 420,000 gallons of black oil. Measurements of the barge’s holding tanks indicate no oil has been released into the water.

An investigation team from Coast Guard Sector Baltimore was deployed to the scene and remained in the area overnight. They are currently on scene to monitor the lightering operations when they begin.

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