The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(FORT MYERS, Fla.) — The Coast Guard is responding to a barge that ran aground on the southern tip of Gasparilla Island at about 11:30 a.m., Monday.
The 25-foot tug Renee, owned by American Marine Constructors, Inc., was transporting a 135-foot barge carrying five tons of rock to the El Jobean bridge, when the Renee reportedly experienced steering problems.
Members from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Fort Myers and Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach were investigating the cause of tug’s steering failure when the barge broke free and ran around on the beach.
Members from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Fort Myers are inspecting the barge for damage and will conduct alcohol and drug testing on the Renee crewmembers.
There were no pollution or injuries reported and no vessel traffic has been affected.