The Coast Guard and other responders set up a spill containment Wednesday around a sunken pushboat containing 10,000 gals. of fuel on the Lower Mississippi River near Blytheville, Ark.

The 61', 1,400-hp Virginia Renee sank at its Hickman Landing mooring and operator Terral River Service, Lake Providence, La., notified the Coast Guard at 5:35 a.m, according to a Coast Guard statement.

The pushboat Virginia Renee. Terral river Service photo.

The pushboat Virginia Renee. Terral River Service photo

The response effort included the Coast Guard’s Sector Lower Mississippi, Enhanced Environmental and Emergency Services (E3), Clinton, Miss., Budwine & Associates Inc., Covington, La., and Big River Shipbuilders Inc., Vickburg, Miss.

By Friday afternoon E3 workers had recovered about 1,000 gals. of fuel. Salvage equipment was at the scene with Okie Moore Diving & Salvage Co., Saint Charles, Missouri, and preparations were underway to raise the vessel.

Booms and absorbent pads were deployed to mitigate the spread of fuel, and divers were on the scene Wednesday morning, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is investigating and no cause has been identified yet for the sinking of the Virginia Renee, one of the fleet boats based at Terral’s Lake Providence harbor.


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