Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Sand Key, in Clearwater, received a call from a boater at 10:50 a.m., reporting that a crane had come free from a construction barge and was partially submerged in the inter-coastal waterway, just northeast of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway.
A Coast Guard auxiliary boatcrew from Station Sand Key immediately responded, setting up a safety zone around the barge and crane.
A Coast Guard pollution response team from Sector St. Petersburg is responding to a report of 5 gallons of oil spilled into the waterway, creating an estimated 24-foot-long pollution sheen in the vicinity of the barge. A pollution prevention boom has been deployed around the perimeter of the barge.
The Coast Guard is requesting boaters in the vicinity of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway to keep a sharp lookout and exercise caution.