The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating how the hull of a fuel barge was breached, spilling about 20,000 gallons of oil into the Kill Van Kull off Staten Island, N.Y.
The investigating officer, Chief Warrant Officer Tom Davan, said that on Dec. 14, 2012, the tank barge Boston No. 30 was loaded with 20,000 barrels of No. 6 oil at New York Terminals in Elizabeth, N.J., and departed at 1330. It arrived at TC Shipping Pier near Mays Shipyard on Staten Island at 1525.
The crew waited for the arrival of DBL 25, another tank barge, for a lightering operation. The second barge arrived at 2000 and the discharge of oil began at 2035.
A pollution responder checks the oiled shoreline in the vicinity of Mays Shipyard.
“Oil was noticed in the water between the two barges at 2215,” Davan said. “The crews of both barges deployed booms and notified the Coast Guard at 2344.”
The initial release of oil was reported at 170,000 gallons, but that estimate was later reduced to 20,000 gallons. More than 156,000 gallons of oil and water mixture was recovered.
The hull of Boston No. 30 was inspected and a breach was found in the port No. 2 tank. The barge was scheduled to be placed in dry dock for a full damage survey.
The Coast Guard ordered both terminals to perform hydrographic surveys for underwater obstructions. The results were not announced.
The owner of the damaged barge, Boston Marine Transport of East Boston, declined to comment.
Davan said the single-hull steel barge was built in 1961 and is 251 feet long with a capacity is 29,624 barrels in 10 tanks.