Thursday, January 23, 2003

Sunken towboat not seen as big problem

The Cincinnati Enquirer

HEBRON - A towboat sank at its mooring on the Ohio River on Tuesday night, and the Coast Guard worked Wednesday to contain the 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel that could leak from the vessel.

"It looks a lot worse than it is. I don't see it as a major threat," said Lt. Steven M. Garcia of the Louisville Marine Safety Office of the Coast Guard.

The tow, the Allen Carmen, was the type of boat used to push barges. The boat's owner, Bellevue Sand and Gravel, had environmental cleanup contractors on the scene throughout Wednesday.

The bulk of the spilled fuel was being contained by on-water recovery equipment.

There were no reported injuries, but diesel has been spilled in the water and was leaking Wednesday at a rate of about 1 gallon per minute.

Crews from the Marine Safety Detachment in Cincinnati and the Marine Safety Office in Louisville are on the scene investigating the cause of the incident and working with environmental concerns.

"We don't anticipate it being a hazard to navigation. It's pretty far out of the channel," Lt. Garcia said.

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Sunken towboat not seen as big problem