Chicago Tug & Barge Grounding: Latest Update

Posted by George Backwell
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
The grounded tugboat: Photo USCG

The Coast Guard says it is continuing its response to the grounded towing vessel 'Kimberly Selvick' in Lake Michigan off of Burnahm Park.The vessel remains partially submerged, while the two barges that broke free from the tug Monday afternoon have been removed and towed to Calumet Harbor Fleeting.

The vessel began taking on water and became partially submerged while trying to retrieve the two barges. Four people aboard the tug were evacuated by a rescue crew from the Chicago Fire Department Marine Unit. No injuries were reported.

An overflight of the area revealed  a 10-foot by 100-foot sheen near the vessel. Initial inspections indicated that the sheen was caused by small quantities of residual oil waste from the tug’s bilge and not from fuel onboard. The Kimberly Selvick has a maximum capacity of approximately 1,400 gallons of fuel.

The environmental response organization, SET Environmental, has deployed approximately 800 feet of hard boom around the vessel to contain the sheen and will start recovery of the petroleum products. Pollution responders from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago will remain on scene to monitor the situation and to ensure safety of the waterway surrounding the vessel.

Salvage efforts are ongoing as assets and resources are mobilized. The Coast Guard informs that it continues to work with the owner of the vessel to ensure a safe and efficient salvage plan.
 

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