Tug and two barges run aground near Chicago

**UPDATE: May 7, 2014, 11:33**

The Kimberly Selvick remains partially submerged, while the two barges that broke free from the tug Monday afternoon have been removed and towed to Calumet Harbor Fleeting.

Earlier this morning, A Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., conducted an overflight of the area and reported a 10’x100′ sheen near the vessel. Initial inspections indicated that the sheen was caused by small quantities of residual oil waste from the tug’s bilge and not from fuel onboard. The Kimberly Selvick has a maximum capacity of approximately 1,400 gals. of fuel.

The environmental response organization, SET Environmental, has deployed approximately 800′ of hard boom around the vessel to contain the sheen and will start recovery of the petroleum products. Pollution responders from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago will remain on scene to monitor the situation and to ensure safety of the waterway surrounding the vessel.

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The Coast Guard and members of the Chicago Fire Department responded Monday afternoon to the grounding of the 55′ tug Kimberly Selvick and two attached barges about one quarter mile east of Burnham Park in Chicago. The tug belongs to Chicago-based Calumet River Fleeting.

A rescue crew from the Chicago Fire Department Marine Unit successfully evacuated four crewmembers from the vessel. No injuries or pollution have been reported.

At 4:42 p.m. a Sector Lake Michigan communications watchstander received a call over VHF-FM channel 16 from a crewmember of the Kimberly Selvick reporting it had run aground while trying to retrieve two barges that had broken free, and that the vessel was taking on water. The Kimberly Selvick was pushing one rock barge and one crane barge at the time of the incident.

Upon notification of the grounding, boat crews aboard 45′ and 25′ response boats from Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor were dispatched to the location to render assistance. The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine broadcast issued on VHF-FM channel 16, which prompted the dispatch of the Chicago Fire Department dive boat.

The Kimberly Selvick remains partially submerged. It has a maximum capacity of 1,400 gals. of fuel. The boat crew aboard the 45′ response boat remained on scene until dusk to evaluate the situation and check for any signs of pollution. A Chicago Fire Department helicopter and crew conducted an overflight of the area.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago personnel are investigating the incident. The Coast Guard will work with the owner of the vessel to ensure proper salvage arrangements are in place. A local tow boat company was scheduled to retrieve the two barges Monday night pending on-scene weather conditions. Members of a local salvage company are scheduled to arrive and commence dewatering and salvage operations Tuesday.

 

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