The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(PITTSBURGH) — Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh is investigating the sinking of a towing vessel that occurred on the Ohio River at mile marker 39.5 near Chester, W.Va.
At approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Coast Guard received a call stating that the towing vessel Sam S., owned by Georgetown Sand and Gravel, sank after taking on waves driven by high winds. The vessel sank approximately 70 feet from C & C Marine’s fleeting area.
The pilot of the Sam S. entered the water briefly and was safely recovered by a nearby towing vessel, the Laura S., owned by C & C Marine. No injuries or deaths were reported.
The Sam S. sank outside of the navigable channel and does not pose a hazard to navigation. The vessel is reported to have approximately 500 gallons of fuel on board and a sheen has been reported coming from the sunken vessel. The vesselâ€™s owner is taking action to mitigate pollution from the incident.
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley is issuing a broadcast notice to mariners to advise mariners of the situation.