Barge spills fuel after collision near Texas port

Paddy20110421twaller Houston

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) — The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a gasoline spill near Port Isabel, Texas, on Saturday after a collision between two barges.

A barge pushed by the towboat Albert reportedly hit a tow guided by the towboat Paddy as it transited the Port Isabel Offshore Terminal, resulting in one of Paddy’s barges sustaining damage and releasing gasoline into the waterway.

It was estimated Saturday afternoon that 5 to 10 gallons of fuel per minute was leaking into the water. The damaged barge held a maximum potential of 187,000 gallons. The Coast Guard reported on Saturday evening that the damaged barge was no longer discharging fuel.

Paddy20110421twaller Houston
The towboat Paddy in the Houston Ship Channel in 2011. Tom Waller photo

The crew of Paddy notified Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi watch standers of the collision at approximately 10 a.m. The Paddy crew also reported that they were pumping gasoline from the damaged compartment into an overflow tank and had placed containment boom around the impacted area.

Coast Guard watch standers issued a safety marine information broadcast and dispatched a Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew, a Coast Guard Station South Padre Island 24-foot boat crew and Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Brownsville pollution teams to the scene.

The Port Isabel Channel was closed to all vessel traffic.

Following the removal of all of the gasoline, the Paddy crew reportedly transferred the barge to Enterprise Marine for repairs.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Professional Mariner Staff