The Coast Guard was responding to an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on February 16, 140 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas. The spill is located approximately 30 miles south of the Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary, an environmentally sensitive area.
At 4:28 a.m. a watchstander at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Galveston received a call from the master of the Grady Fagan, a 193-ft offshore supply ship. The master reported that the Grady Fagan hit the rig Ocean Star as it was preparing to offload supplies. The ship was holed below the water line in its starboard fuel tank, the collision also caused a 2-inch gash above the water line.
An unknown amount
of diesel fuel has leaked from the ship. The fuel tank held
9,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The Grady Fagan is controlling the flooding and is transferring fuel from the damaged tank to prevent further release.
A Coast Guard Falcon Jet crew from Air Station Corpus Christi conducted
an over flight of the site at 9:51 a.m. and detected no visible pollution . The owner of the Grady Fagan has hired Marine Spill Response Corp
to clean up the spill. The MSRC ship Texas Responder with Coast Guard investigators aboard is standing by to respond.
A unified command post
has been established at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Galveston in response to the spill. Agencies responding are the Marine Safety Unit Galveston, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and MSRC. The cause of the incident is under investigation.