Towboat sinks at mooring in West Virginia

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

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard is responding to a sunken vessel discharging oil near mile marker 8 on the Big Sandy River near Butler, W.Va., on Wednesday. 

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington watch standers received a report at 7:40 a.m. of the motor vessel Gate City sunk at its mooring and discharging oil into the river with a maximum potential of 5,000 gallons.

A Marine Safety Unit Huntington pollution response team arrived on scene and is working with the oil spill response organization Weavertown to deploy boom and contain the oil and begin cleanup operations. Neptune Marine Survey is also on scene accessing the vessel and developing a plan to remove any remaining oil from the vessel.

The Coast Guard, along with West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection, is investigating the incident.

By Professional Mariner Staff