Barge, trawler collide, spilling diesel fuel into Tampa Bay

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


(TAMPA, Fla.) — Two vessels collided Thursday at about 8 p.m., causing a fuel spill about two miles northwest of Manbirtee Key, Fla.

The fishing vessel Maranatha, an 80-foot trawler homeported in Irvington, Ala., and the Coastal, a 95-foot barge, collided causing a four-by-eight-inch gash in Maranatha’s starboard fuel tank. According to the fishing vessel’s master, the damaged fuel tank held approximately 4000 gallons of diesel fuel and was estimated to have released approximately 800 -1600 gallons of diesel fuel into the water. The amount of fuel released into the bay is an estimate only and may change as pollution-responders continue to assess the situation.

The Coast Guard Cutter Hawk, a Station St. Petersburg, Fla., 25-foot patrol boat crew, and Coast Guard pollution-responders are on-scene to assess and monitor the spill. The Coast Guard has hired spill clean-up contractors to actively conduct clean-ups.

Heavy fog is reported in Tampa Bay and is partially impacting the spill assessment. The port of Tampa Bay was closed at 11 p.m., to aid in the clean-up effort.

Coast Guard Cutter Hawk is an 87-foot coastal patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg.

By Professional Mariner Staff