Towboat goes down in Mississippi River near Cairo

The Unified Command was still responding to a sunken vessel at mile marker 9.7 on the Upper Mississippi River near Cairo, Ill., Monday.

A minimal amount of residual oil was discovered leaking from the towing vessel Eric Haney, owned by Tennessee Valley Towing, which has been contained and recovered, the Coast Guard said. Water and shoreline assessments have been conducted and crews observed no signs of pollution.

Divers have attached three additional mooring lines from the towboat to the shore for added stability. Crews are working towards salvaging and lightering the vessel. There are currently no restrictions to commercial or recreational vessel traffic due to the incident.

The UC consists of the Coast Guard, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Tennessee Valley Towing.

An unknown amount of diesel was discharged from the Eric Haney, which has been contained with containment boom. Divers have successfully secured the source of the diesel fuel discharge.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit, Paducah, Ky., were notified at approximately midnight Saturday night of the Eric Haney sinking on the right descending bank in the Upper Mississippi River. The vessel had approximately 79,000 gals. of diesel fuel and 1,600 gals. of lube oil onboard.

There were nine people aboard the towing vessel who evacuated the ship before it sank with no reports of injuries.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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