The unified command continues to respond to a crude oil spill in the lower Mississippi River near mile marker 436 in Vicksburg, Miss., Thursday.
At 10:05 a.m. response crews removed fuel from the damaged barge MOC-12 after reconfiguring oil-pump equipment. Following completion of the oil removal operations the damaged barge will be inspected and prepared for transit to a maritime facility in nearby Vicksburg. The MOC-15 barge has been moved upriver from the MOC-12 oil removal operation and is waiting for transportation to a maritime facility.
Response crews have deployed 5,300 feet of boom to contain any potential oil releases. Skimming vessels have recovered approximately 8,400 gallons of oil-water mixture since the incident occurred. The tank levels are being continually monitored.
The unified command is working with the Coast Guard’s Marine Transportation System Recovery Unit to coordinate vessels moving northbound at night and southbound during the day. A safety zone is in effect between mile marker 425 and mile marker 441 restricting travel to commercial vessels. The Coast Guard is working with the Lower Mississippi River Committee to coordinate vessel movements through the safety zone.
In total, 62 vessels and 974 barges have been cleared to go northbound and southbound since the restrictions have been put into place.
There are 29 northbound vessels with 439 barges and 19 southbound vessels with 315 barges waiting in the queue due to traffic restrictions. Mississippi River vessel traffic queue management is ongoing.
The unified command consists of representatives from the Coast Guard, state on-scene coordinators from Mississippi and Louisiana and the owner of the towing vessel, Nature's Way Marine LLC. Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River, Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Vicksburg and the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force are on scene as part of a unified command effort to oversee cleanup and salvage operations.
The Coast Guard investigation into the incident is ongoing.
For further information or media inquiries contact the Information Center in Vicksburg at (601) 801-3521.