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Casualty briefs

Jun 1, 2018 02:03 PM
Pac Antares unloads rubber at the Port of Morehead City, N.C., in this file photo. The ship spilled oil into the Lower Mississippi River on April 12 after a pier strike in New Orleans.

Courtesy North Carolina State Ports Authority

Pac Antares unloads rubber at the Port of Morehead City, N.C., in this file photo. The ship spilled oil into the Lower Mississippi River on April 12 after a pier strike in New Orleans.

Cargo ship strikes pier, spills oil in New Orleans
The cargo ship Pac Antares struck a pier on the Lower Mississippi River in New Orleans, spilling more than 4,200 gallons of oil into the waterway.

The 587-foot ship hit the pier at about 1030 on April 12 at mile marker 100 near the Nashville Avenue Wharf. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the incident but has not determined a cause, according to a spokesman. Details surrounding the incident were not available.

The Coast Guard closed 10 miles of the river, from mile marker 91 to 101, for about a day for the oil spill cleanup and response. More than two dozen boats placed boom and sorbents in the water, and skimmers also patrolled the river collecting spilled fuel.

It’s not clear how much product was recovered, although the Coast Guard said there were no known impacts to wildlife. The oil did float downriver past revelers enjoying a festival in the French Quarter.

The Mississippi River was at 14.4 feet at the Carrollton Gauge when the accident happened, a level considered high but 3 feet below flood stage.

The 15-year-old Pac Antares is a 27,659-dwt, Singapore-flagged ship owned by Pacific Carriers Ltd. (PCL) of London and managed by PACC Ship Managers, according to vessel tracking services. AIS data suggests the ship arrived in New Orleans from Houston. No injuries were reported.

Barge breaks free, spills fuel near New Orleans
Nearly 10,000 gallons of biodiesel spilled from a barge that broke away from a towboat near New Orleans.

The towboat Dixie Express was moored near the Industrial Canal when a wake from an underway vessel apparently caused one of its barges to break free at about 0600 on March 25. The barge hit a concrete wharf wall and began leaking fuel into the waterway.

Authorities estimate 9,700 gallons of biodiesel escaped from the barge before the leak was stopped. The maximum potential pollution was 21,150 gallons, the Coast Guard said.

Teams from OMI Environmental Solutions used sorbents and boom to minimize impacts from the spill. The Coast Guard did not close the waterway, and no one was injured in the incident. Further details were not available.

Towboat sinks in channel on Ohio River near Cairo
The Coast Guard is investigating a towboat sinking near Cairo, Ill., in the Ohio River.

Charley Wallace sank at mile marker 980 at about 1550 on April 13. The vessel was fully submerged inside the navigation channel. No details were reported on the number of crewmembers on board, but the Coast Guard said no one was injured.

Authorities restricted travel on the Ohio River between mile markers 979 and 981 shortly after the accident. Sheening was reported in the river after Charley Wallace sank, and the Coast Guard said up to 1,048 gallons of diesel escaped from the towboat.

Additional details on the accident were not available at press time.

Martha’s Vineyard was en route to the mainland with 78 passengers on board when it became disabled on the night of March 17. The ferry had to be towed back to its island port.

Courtesy The Steamship Authority

Vineyard ferry loses propulsion, gets towed
A ferry carrying 88 people lost propulsion off Martha’s Vineyard shortly before 2100 on March 17, resulting in a tow to port.

Martha’s Vineyard was sailing to Woods Hole, Mass., from Vineyard Haven, Mass., with 78 passengers and 10 crew when it became disabled. Three tugboats towed the vessel into the Vineyard Ferry Terminal at 0130 on March 18.

Another ferry, Woods Hole, responded to the disabled vessel. A Coast Guard cutter and small response boat also assisted.

The Coast Guard did not disclose the nature of the propulsion issue. The service said it was monitoring repairs and trials before the vessel could return to service.

The Steamship Authority, which operates the vessel, declined to comment on the incident or the nature of the propulsion failure.

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