Moored containership leaks oil off Staten Island (UPDATE)

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

(NEW YORK) — Unified Command members continue their response Friday to an oil spill that occurred on the Arthur Kill waterway Thursday afternoon when a hole was detected in the hull of the Hapag-Lloyd containership Dublin Express during unloading operations in the Global Marine New York Container Terminal.

Fuel escaped from the approximately 15-square-inch opening. The hole was sealed Thursday evening, which stopped any further discharge. In addition, containment booms were promptly set out to prevent any additional spreading of the oil and to proactively protect nearby nature reserves. 

Hapag-Lloyd is working closely in the Unified Command with the relevant authorities and interested parties to minimize the impact on people and the environment. The Unified Command consists of the U.S. Coast Guard, New Jersey Department Environmental Protection (NJ DEP), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), and Gallagher Marine Systems.

After initially closing the waterway to navigable vessel traffic, the captain of the port reopened the waterway just before 1 p.m. Friday, with a slow bell requiring maritime traffic moving through the waterway with no wake.

Crews are on scene assessing conditions and continue pollution response and cleanup measures in order to ensure environmental safety and facilitate maritime commerce.

The Unified Command is advising the public to stay clear of cleanup operations in the waterway. 

Air assets from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City and the New York Police Department Aviation unit both completed overflights earlier Friday to assess the situation.

Commercial oil spill recovery organizations are also on scene as part of the response effort.

At present, the Unified Command has deployed 60 responders, 10 vessels, four skimmers, two vacuum trucks, two vacuum trailers for recovered oil product, and 15,000 feet of containment boom in response to the incident.


(NEW YORK) — The Coast Guard and partner agencies are responding to a report of an oil spill that occurred in the Arthur Kill waterway near the Goethals Bridge on Thursday afternoon.

At approximately 2 p.m., watch standers at Coast Guard Sector New York received a report of a commercial containership leaking fuel oil while moored at the Global Marine New York Container Terminal off Staten Island. 

The amount of fuel spilled into the waterway is unknown and responders have placed containment boom, with two vessels actively skimming and cleaning up the waterway. The vessel has activated their vessel response plan and engaged commercial oil spill removal organizations.

A pollution response team from Coast Guard Sector New York is on scene to assess the situation and conduct pollution mitigation. Additionally, an aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City is conducting an overflight monitoring the situation. 

Members of the New York Police Department are also responding to the incident.

The captain of the port has established a safety zone on the Arthur Kill waterway from the Goethals Bridge to Shooters Island. 

Coast Guard Sector New York Vessel Traffic Service is monitoring all marine traffic in the immediate area. All concerned vessel traffic should contact Vessel Traffic Service at (718) 354-4088 or the Sector Command Center at (718) 354-4152.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation. A Unified Command will be established to coordinate cleanup efforts and reestablish the marine transportation.

By Professional Mariner Staff