Coast Guard, local officials respond to barge grounding near Bayport

8th Coast Guard District NewsHOUSTON — The Coast Guard continues to respond to a fuel spill after a barge ran aground Wednesday near Bayport, Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston Galveston received a notification that the TM3, a barge being towed by the UTV Louis Vincent, had ran aground near Bayport. The master of the Louis Vincent reported diesel fuel leaking from a tank on the left side of the vessel.

The Coast Guard worked with representatives from the Texas General Land Office, as well as representatives from Talen Marine, the responsible party, and ES&H, the oil spill response organization. Responders deployed approximately 6,400-feet of sorbent boom around the barge in order to minimize environmental impact.

A lightering barge was brought onscene Thursday morning to remove the fuel from barge. The lightering operations were completed at 7:57 a.m. Officials estimated that approximately 500 gallons of diesel fuel leaked into the water before lightering operations were completed.

Once investigators determined that there is no further leakage, the barge will be transported to Texas International Terminal in Galveston, where crews will offload the remaining fuel from the damaged barge.

“Through quick reaction from our local partners and the responsible party, we were able to minimize the environmental impact of the spill and ensure the remaining fuel was safely offloaded from the barge,” said Capt. James Whitehead, commander of Sector Houston-Galveston.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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