Houston Ship Channel reopens after collision

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

(LA PORTE, Texas) — The Houston Ship Channel was reopened Thursday morning, after responders completed initial salvage plans on a damaged chemical tanker and successfully moved the vessel to Barbour's Cut turning basin.

The Carla Maersk incurred significant damage following a collision earlier in the week between it the and the Conti Peridot. 

Responders finished removing the liquid cargo from the ship’s two breached tanks early Thursday morning. The partial removal of cargo, methyl tertiary butyl ether, was a necessary step before the ship could be moved to a safe harbor. Plans also included checking the structural integrity of the vessel before moving it to another location. 

High-density foam was used to suppress flammable vapors from the damaged tanks on the Carla Maersk. Extensive air monitoring around the ship showed no sign of vapors seeping from the vessel.

Responders continue to conduct air and water tests, which show no public health or environmental concerns.

The Conti Peridot was moved Tuesday to the Port Authority’s Turning Basin terminal.

"Safety of persons, environment and property continue to remain our highest priorities," said Capt. Brian Penoyer, captain of the port and commander of Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston. "We will continue to keep you informed as efforts progress; and I would like to thank everyone involved with this Unified Command’s response."

The cause of the collision remains under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff