Coast Guard oversees salvage of tugboat Miss Bonnie

Coast Guard members oversee the salvage of the tugboat Miss Bonnie near Nags Head, N.C., Nov. 21, 2019. The vessel was overturned by severe weather, which also caused the release of diesel into the environment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Christopher Fisher.

Coast Guard members oversee the salvage of the tugboat Miss Bonnie near Nags Head, N.C., Nov. 21, 2019.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Christopher Fisher.

OREGON INLET, N.C. — The Coast Guard is monitoring the salvage of a semi-submerged tugboat responsible for a discharge of diesel fuel in the vicinity of the Old Bonner Bridge in Oregon Inlet.

The tugboat grounded and was overwhelmed with storm surge resulting in the vessel overturning and becoming partially submerged near the Old Bonner Bridge on Nov. 17, 2019, at 11:09 a.m. The sheen resulting from the submersion was monitored and collected by crews contracted by the responsible party.

The Coast Guard has overseen the deployment of 2,500 feet of sorbent boom and 1,600 feet of containment boom around the vessel to prevent any further spillage.


There have been no reports of impacts to wildlife at this time. The channel remains open to all vessel traffic.

“We’re taking every precaution to ensure that the salvage process is as safe as it can be for all involved,” said Lt. Chris Fisher, Supervisor for Coast Guard Detached Duty Nags Head, N.C. “We’re also dedicated to making sure that any additional discharge of fuel is captured and collected before it can impact the environment.”

Currently, the approved salvage plan calls for the vessel to be dewatered and towed to a harbor of safe refuge where the responsible party can develop a suitability for tow plan before further movement.

Involved in the response are:

  • Coast Guard Detached Duty Nags Head, N.C.
  • PCL Construction
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Scientific Support Coordinator
  • North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
  • National Parks Service

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.


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