By Submitted Story on November 18, 2019
The Coast Guard says it is responding to a discharge of diesel from a semi-submerged tugboat in the vicinity of the Old Bonner Bridge in Oregon Inlet.
Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received the report of a sheen from a Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet at approximately 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18. The leak was reported to be coming from the tugboat Miss Bonnie, which allided with the Old Bonner Bridge on Sunday Nov. 17 at 11:09 a.m.
The maximum potential for the discharge is 6,000 gallons; however, it is estimated that 3,000 gallons were onboard. The responsible party has deployed 200 feet of sorbent boom and 175 feet of containment boom around the vessel. The responsible party is scheduled to deploy secondary ocean boom on Tuesday, Nov. 18, as well as conduct salvage operations once on-scene.
There have been no reports of impacts to wildlife at this time. The channel currently remains open to all vessel traffic. The Coast Guard is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Scientific Support Coordinator to identify the most likely trajectory of the discharged diesel to determine necessary mitigation strategies for environmentally sensitive areas.
“Protecting the marine environment is a top priority for the Coast Guard,” said Capt. Bion Stewart, commander of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “We are overseeing the responsible party’s actions to mitigate environmental impacts resulting from the discharge and to remove the vessel when it is safe to do so.”
Involved in the response are: Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Marine Safety Detachment; PCL Construction; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Scientific Support Coordinator; North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission; and National Parks Service
The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.