800-foot oil tanker runs aground off Galveston; lightering needed

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:


(GALVESTON, Texas) — Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Galveston, in conjunction with Texas General Land Office, United States Mineral Management Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, O’Brien’s Response Management, Titan Salvage and the Marine Spill Response Corporation, are working to free the 800-foot tank ship Yasa Golden Dardanelles that was grounded Friday, Feb. 20, 2009.

The Yasa Golden Dardanelles was grounded on the north side of the Galveston safety fairway, which leads to the Houston Ship Channel. The tank ship was carrying 621,000 barrels of oil at the time of the grounding. The ship is not discharging oil or impeding other vessel traffic.

Two tugboats were on scene with the tank ship throughout the night, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009. The tugboats attempted to free the tank ship, but were unsuccessful.

On Monday, Feb. 23, 2009, lightering operations are scheduled to begin. Lightering is a process that reduces the tank ship’s weight by transferring some of its cargo to another vessel. Coast Guard personnel, Titan Salvage, the ship’s salvage team, and oil spill response organizations Marine Spill Response and O’Brien’s Response Management, are creating a comprehensive lightering plan that will allow the transfer of the tank ship’s cargo without causing pollution.

By Professional Mariner Staff