Towboat en route to dry dock hits pier, spills fuel

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

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard is responding to a diesel oil spill in the Tennessee River near Paducah, Ky., on Tuesday.

Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report at 8:27 a.m. that the vessel Patricia I. Hart, while being transported by an assist tug to a dry dock, hit a pier at James Marine Inc. at mile marker 4.5 on the Tennessee River.

The pier cut a small gash in the vessel, which caused approximately 3,000 gallons of diesel to discharge into the water.

The source of the discharge has been secured.

E3, an oil spill response organization, recovered appropriately 250 gallons of oil from the water and removed the remaining 2,700 gallons of oil from the vessel’s fuel tanks.

E3 contained the spill with sorbent pads and containment boom.

There are no reports of injuries or waterway impacts caused by the incident.

Coast Guard members from Marine Safety Unit Paducah arrived on scene at 9:15 a.m. to investigate the incident. Coast Guard members are scheduled to return to the scene of the incident Wednesday to continue the investigation.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff