Dredge barge sinks after pipe gets caught on Mich. pier (PHOTOS)

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(ST. JOSEPH, Mich.) — U.S. Coast Guard Sector Field Office Grand Haven and Station St. Joseph responded to the partially submerged dredge barge Alconon, Friday, in the St. Joseph River at approximately 10 a.m.

The barge was reported to be leaking oil with small visible sheen in the water.

Responders were not able to identify any areas of recoverable oil. A sheen was observed from Pier 33 to the CSX railroad bridge. The source of the spill has been contained with no new reports of oil in the water.

The owner of the Alconon has a crane on scene stabilizing the dredge, while environmental and salvage contractors utilized a vacuum truck to remove and recover the water in the dredge.

The dredge is now re-floated with no visible damage. It is believed the dredge sank due to a rise in the water level coupled with a portion of the dredge pipe getting caught between the dredge and the pier.

“Mariners in the area are to proceed with caution as the dredge line is still in the water and unlighted,†said Jon Grob, Sector Lake Michigan’s Chief of Waterways Management.

For additional information or media inquiries contact Lt. Bryan Swintek, Sector Lake Michigan Public Affairs Officer at 414-747-7106.

Click here to view one photo of the partially sunken barge. Click here to view another.

By Professional Mariner Staff