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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Capsized Towboat Spills Diesel in Alabama

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 17, 2023

Containment boom limits diesel discharge from a partially sunken tugboat in Florence, Alabama, July 17, 2023. The Coast Guard and partner agencies responded to the fuel discharge, which has a maximum potential spill of 2,500 gallons. (U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Marine Safety Detachment Nashville)

Containment boom limits diesel discharge from a partially sunken tugboat in Florence, Alabama, July 17, 2023. The Coast Guard and partner agencies responded to the fuel discharge, which has a maximum potential spill of 2,500 gallons. (U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Marine Safety Detachment Nashville)

A partially sunken towboat is discharging diesel fuel near Florence, Ala.

The U.S. Coast Guard said on Monday it is responding to the incident alongside partner agencies after Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received notification at approximately 2 p.m. Sunday from RMB Marine Services reporting the towboat Michael R had partially sank in the Port of Florence, adjacent to mile marker 257 on the Tennessee River.

Pollution responders from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Nashville have been deployed to assess the situation on scene.

Hard boom has been deployed and is currently containing most of the fuel, which is being recovered via a vacuum truck and drum skimmer, the Coast Guard said, noting the maximum potential for spill is 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel.

RMB Marine Services is currently working with E3 Solutions, an oil spill removal organization (OSRO), to clean up the discharged product. An estimated 200 feet of hard boom was deployed Sunday to contain the product in the water. Over 350 additional feet of boom was deployed Monday to act as a secondary barrier.

There have been no reports of injuries or wildlife impact, officials said.

The Coast Guard said it is investigating the cause of the incident.

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