Towboat sinks

On Nov. 25, the U.S. Coast Guard, EPA and local emergency crews in LeClaire, Iowa, responded to the sinking of the 154’x40′ towboat Stephen L. Colby in the Mississippi River. The Colby, owned by Marquette Transportation Co., Paducah, Ky., had approximately 100,000 gals. of petroleum products on board at the time of the sinking. Reports say 96 percent was accounted for. A unified command deployed 37 response personnel, 11 workboats and three skimmers to handle the cleanup and salvage efforts. On Dec. 9, response crews began lifting the sunken towboat. Salvage crews worked to cradle and dewater the Colby in an effort to remove extra weight during the lifting. Crews dealt with below freezing conditions throughout the response. Approximately 39,900 gals. of oily-water mixture was been recovered from the river, another 89,000 gals. of oily-water mixture from the towboat, and more than 6,800 cu. ft. of oily waste. On Dec. 11, the towboat left LeClaire for a St. Louis-area repair facility. The cause of the incident is under investigation. 


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