Oil spill cleanup around sunken towboat In West Virginia

The Coast Guard and other responders are containing an oil spill on the Big Sandy River after the towboat Gate City sank at its mooring near Butler, W. Va., Wednesday morning.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit at Huntington, W. Va., received a report at 7:40 a.m. from the vessel operators, Gate City River Transportation LLC, Catlettsburg, Ky., that the 123’x33’, 2,400-hp vessel was sunk, and discharging oil into the river with a maximum potential of 5,000 gals., Coast Guard officials said.

The Marine Safety Unit pollution response team based at Huntington arrived on scene and worked with Weavertown Environmental Group to deploy boom and contain the oil and begin cleanup operations. Neptune Marine Surveying was working on the scene, assessing the vessel and developing a plan to remove any remaining oil.

The incident is under investigation by the Coast Guard along with West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection.

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