A barge carrying 924,000 gallons of thick, tarry fuel oil collided Saturday with another ship in the Houston ship channel and was leaking oil, officials said.
The U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement Saturday that it received a call at about 12:30 p.m. from the captain of the 585-foot ship Summer Wind reporting its collision with a barge.
The barge was being towed from Texas City to Bolivar at the time. Kirby Inland Marine, owner of the tow vessel Miss Susan and the barges, is working with the Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office at the scene, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard did not give an estimate of how much oil had leaked into Galveston Bay.
A sheen of oil was been reported on the water, but it was unknown how much oil had leaked, the statement said. Six crew members of the tow vessel are all in stable condition.
Crews Try to Contain Oil Spill in Galveston Bay
...Booms were brought in to try to contain the spill, which the Coast Guard said was reported at around 12:30 p.m. by the captain of the 585-foot ship, Summer Wind. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Kristopher Kidd said the spill hadn't been contained as of 10 p.m., and that the collision was still being investigated.
The ship collided with a barge carrying 924,000 gallons of marine fuel oil, also known as special bunker, that was being towed by the vessel Miss Susan, the Coast Guard said. It didn't give an estimate of how much fuel had spilled into the bay, but there was a visible sheen of oil at the scene.
Officials believe only one of the barge's tanks was breached, but that tank had a capacity of 168,000 gallons.
"A large amount of that has been discharged," Kidd said. He said a plan was being developed to remove the remaining oil from the barge, but the removal had not begun.
The barge was resting on the bottom of the channel, with part of it submerged. He said boom was being set up in the water to protect environmentally-sensitive areas and that people would be working through the night with infrared cameras to locate and skim the oil...