The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(GALVESTON, Texas) — The Coast Guard is working closely with contractors and the owner of a seagoing tug and empty tank barge after the vessels became beached in the vicinity of East Beach in Galveston on Sunday.
The Peter F Gellatly and barge Double Skin 504 grounded after drifting from their anchorage and across the Houston Ship Channel. The Coast Guard is working with the vessel’s owner to ensure that the barge is safely refloated.
Response crews are waiting for weather and tidal conditions to improve in order to safely and successfully refloat the vessel. Favorable weather and tidal conditions are expected to occur as early as Tuesday afternoon.
There are six crewmembers aboard the tug; all are safe and in good communication with both the vessel owner and the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard has established a safety zone around the vessel. In order to ensure public safety, all marine traffic and individuals must remain at least 500 yards away from the beached vessels. The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the situation to ensure public safety and the protection of the marine environment.
No pollution has been reported at this time and there are no reports of damage to either the tug or barge. The barge is not loaded with liquid cargo; however there are approximately 6,000 gallons of oil waste aboard, stored in smaller tanks on the upper portion of the barge.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.