Coast Guard responds to gas pipeline fire near Port O’Connor, Texas

The Coast Guard responds to a gas pipeline fire near Port O'Connor, Texas.

The Coast Guard responds to a gas pipeline fire near Port O’Connor, Texas.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard responded to a gas pipeline fire near Port O’Connor, Texas, Tuesday evening.

Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi watchstanders received a mayday call from the dredge Jonathon King Boyd who reported the vessel was on fire after hitting a gas pipeline while conducting dredging operations.

A Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew, MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor 29-foot Response Boat-Small boat crew were launched to the area.

All crewmembers aboard the Jonathan King Boyd were safely removed by the vessel Dakota who was on scene at the time of the fire.

A four mile safety zone was established around the scene. The Intracoastal Waterway is closed to traffic from mile marker 468 to mile marker 474 to include the Matagorda Ship Channel from the jetties to seven nautical miles inside the bay.

The impacted pipeline has been secured; the remaining gas is residual.

The Coast Guard is working closely with the Texas General Land Office and RLB Contracting, Inc. to extinguish the fire on the barge and move the dredge and accompanying barges away from the ship channel.

“We’re very sensitive of the dredge location and ensuring it remains clear of all vulnerable wildlife areas and Port O’Connor” said Captain Tony Hahn, commander of Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. “Working closely with the Unified Command, our top priority is extinguishing the fire so we may eliminate any threat of pollution to the waterway.”

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