The Coast Guard has reported that response crews are anchoring
the barge and plugging ballast tank vents to prevent water from leaking into the cargo tanks. Salvage opperations will continue throughout the night.
An underwater survey operations revealed that oil continues to leak from the barge's damaged cargo tank. An over flight this morning revealed a sheen and black patches of oil extending three miles southwest of the barge.
While transiting from Houston to Tampa, Fla., the barge struck some debris that gouged a 35-ft. long by 6-ft. wide hole in the starboard bow. There was approximately 300 thousand gallons of oil in the damaged tank. The tank barge DBL 152 was carrying almost 5 million gallons of a thick, heavy petroleum product known as number-six fuel oil.
Approximately two thousand feet of containment boom is being placed around the barge to contain the spill, and oil skimmers are on scene to remove the surface oil.
The 441-foot barge is now at position 29 12.3 degrees north, 093 28.14 degrees west, about 29 miles due south of the Calcasieu Pass, La. and about 100 miles due west of Galveston, Texas. The barge is listing approximately 50 degrees to starboard and its bow is resting on the bottom in 55 feet of water. The owner of the barge, K-Sea Transportation
of New York
, has conducted a stability assessment, and dive and salvage operations are in progress.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Capt. Sharon Richey, is advising fishermen not to fish in the vicinity of 29 8.8 degrees north, 093 14.9 degrees west, approximately 32 miles south of the Calcasieu Pass, La. There is a strong possibility of heavy grade oil floating partially submerged or on the bottom in the area due to the spill from the tank barge DBL 152.
The tank barge DBL 152 is not obstructing marine traffic, and all area waterways remain open. A four mile safety zone
is in effect around the barge. The cause of the incident is under investigation by the Coast Guard.