Collision between tanker, tug closes Houston Ship Channel

The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(HOUSTON) — A unified command has been established to respond to a collision on the Houston Ship Channel at Light 71-74 between a 755-foot tanker and a tug pushing two barges near Bayport, Texas, on Friday.

The unified command consists of the Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and Kirby Inland Marine.

Sector Houston-Galveston watch standers received a report that the tanker Genesis River and the tug Voyager collided. The tug was transporting two barges loaded with the gasoline blend stock reformate. 

An Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a Station Houston 29-foot response boat-small crew were launched to assess the situation.

A Port Houston Fire Department fireboat plus oil spill response, air monitoring and salvage personnel are responding. 

One barge has capsized and one is reported damaged. 

An estimated 25,000 barrels of gasoline blend stock were loaded on each barge. An unknown amount of product has been released from the damaged barge. 

Air monitoring is being conducted along the shoreline from Sylvan Beach to Kemah. The first priority of the unified command is public safety. If any readings above actionable levels are detected, advisories will be provided to local emergency operations centers. 

The Houston Ship Channel is closed from Light 61-75. 

There are no reported injuries at the time.

By Professional Mariner Staff