Missouri River Pollution Response Update

ST. LOUIS – The Coast Guard, in coordination with federal, state and local agencies, has received specialty boom and changed the configuration of several other lines of boom in order to more efficiently collect any oil still leaking from the towing vessel Omaha.

“Environmentally sensitive areas along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers have been identified and appropriate protective measures continue to be deployed,” said Captain Sharon Richey, commander, Sector Upper Mississippi River.

“The Coast Guard is actively working with the vessel owner to produce a productive salvage plan to remove the vessel at the earliest opportunity,” said Richey.

The vessel owner has contracted with Okie Moore Diving and Salvage to recover the Omaha. Salvage equipment is en route from Paducah, Ky. and is scheduled to arrive on scene late today. Once the equipment and salvage team are on scene, the Coast Guard, Okie Moore Diving and Salvage, and representatives from the Omaha will meet to discuss plans for the safe recovery of the Omaha.

A portion of the Missouri River between mile markers 10.5 and 11.7 remains closed to commercial traffic and recreational boaters are urged to exercise extreme caution in the area of the incident.

“The Coast Guard is monitoring the effect of the waterway closure on commercial traffic in order to both minimize the economic impact while allowing for safe recovery operations to proceed,” said Richey.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. Friday, May 30, the towing vessel Omaha reported to the Coast Guard that they were taking on water with 7 persons on board. In order to mitigate the risk to the crew, the vessels crew intentionally grounded the vessel along the bank of the Missouri River and used mooring lines to secure it to the shore. The crew was safely rescued and there were no reported injuries.

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