Tanker spills oil during transfer on Lower Mississippi

(NEW ORLEANS) — The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a discharge of oil from a tanker Friday on the Lower Mississippi River near Kenner, La.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watch standers received notification at 6:08 p.m. that the tanker Hafnia Rhine discharged oil during a fuel transfer operation with a fuel barge at Ama Anchorage, mile marker 115. Watch standers dispatched Coast Guard pollution responders to the scene.

The crew of Hafnia Rhine secured the oil discharge, but Sector New Orleans pollution investigators estimated up to 2,100 gallons of fuel oil entered the water and contaminated approximately 50 to 60 barges in the vicinity.

The tanker Hafnia Rhine spilled up to 2,100 gallons of oil while refueling Friday on the Lower Mississippi River near Kenner, La. U.S. Coast Guard photo

The National Response Corp. and Environmental Safety and Health Consulting Services were hired as oil spill removal organizations. They placed 2,700 feet of containment boom and 3,320 feet of sorbent boom around the affected area, including the contaminated vessels, and used sorbents to recover oil product.

The Coast Guard is committed to overseeing a timely cleanup of oil to mitigate environmental impacts through its coordination with partner agencies and the continued assessment of shorelines and waterways.

There have been no reports of impact to wildlife. The cause of the discharge remains under investigation.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller