Chicago Tug Grounding: Latest Update
The U.S. Coast Guard informs it continues its response to the grounded towing vessel Kimberly Selvick in Lake Michigan off of Burnahm Park. It has been determined that ten times more diesel fuel, 14,000 gallons, is on board the tugboat than originally reported.
Efforts to salvage the vessel are ongoing and weather conditions are delaying a pre-salvage damage assessment of the vessel and the staging of salvage assets. Until the weather improves, the Coast Guard will continue to work with the responsible party to ensure a salvage plan is prepared and ready for execution.
“Recovering the vessel safely and mitigating potential impacts to the environment are the primary concerns for the planned salvage operation,” said Capt. Jason Neubauer, commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Chicago.
During salvage planning discussions with vessel representatives, it was determined that the Kimberly Selvick has up to 14,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board. During the initial response to the incident, the Coast Guard reported that the total diesel fuel quantity was 1,400 gallons. Initial inspections show that all fuel tanks remain intact.
The Coast Guard adds that SET Environmental has been contracted by the responsible party to monitor and cleanup any pollution from the Kimberly Selvick. On Tuesday morning, an oil sheen, likely originating from the vessel’s bilge, was visible in the vicinity of the vessel and along a short section of the Burnham Park shoreline. SET Environmental deployed 800 feet of hard boom around the vessel to contain the sheen and is using alternate oil remediation methods.