The 144-foot towboat 'Stephen L. Colby
' struck a submerged object near LeClaire and sank. At the time of the sinking, nine crewmembers were aboard and all were able to make it to safety, reports the Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River.
Approximately 100,000 gallons of petroleum products are reported to be on board the sunken vessel, and the Captain of the Port closed the Mississippi River from mile marker 493 to mile maker 501 on the upper Mississippi River to allow for safe, effective clean-up and salvage operations. Coast Guard personnel, along with Illinois EPA and local emergency response crews, are taking action to evaluate and respond to environmental damage.
"The Coast Guard and our partner agencies are rapidly assessing and responding to the evolving situation" said Capt. Byron Black, commander, Sector Upper Mississippi River, "Our primary concern is to ensure the safety of people, the environment and the waterway. We have personnel on scene actively responding to the incident."
The cause of the incident is under investigation.