Coast Guard continues Tampa Bay oil spill response

TAMPA, Fla. – The Coast Guard continues to respond to a diesel fuel spill in Tampa Bay after two vessels collided Thursday at about 8 p.m., approximately two miles northwest of Manbirtee Key, Fla.,

The fishing vessel Maranatha, an 80-foot trawler homeported in Irvington, Ala., and the Coastal, a 95-foot barge, collided causing a four-by-eight-inch gash in Maranatha’s starboard forward fuel tank. The damaged fuel tank held approximately 4000 gallons of diesel fuel and was estimated to have released approximately 800 -1000 gallons of diesel fuel into the water. The leak has been secured and spill response contractors are deploying boom to protect environmentally sensitive areas that might be affected by the spill.

Heavy fog is continuing to impact the spill assessment. An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air station Clearwater, Fla., is conducting an aerial assessment, the Coast Guard Cutter Hawk, a Station St. Petersburg, Fla., 25-foot small boat crew, and Coast Guard pollution responders along with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office are on scene to assess and monitor the spill.

Tampa Bay is closed to all vessel traffic south of Big Bend power plant. Vessels transiting north of the power plant facility are able to transit within Hillsborough Bay without restriction

Coast Guard Cutter Hawk is an 87-foot coastal patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg.

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