Towing vessel crashes into dock, spills oil on Texas waterway

The U.S. Coast Guard was responding Wednesday to an oil spill on the Intracoastal Waterway near South Padre Island, Texas after a towing vessel struck a dock at a Subsea7 facility late Tuesday night.

Watchstanders at Sector Corpus Christi received a report that the uninspected towing vessel Capt. Jim Green allided with a dock at the Subsea7 facility near Port Isabel at 11:24 p.m., Tuesday.

The Coast Guard originally said the incident resulted in the release of approximately 20,000 gallons of low sulfur diesel fuel into the waterway, but later downgraded the spill estimate to 5,000 gallons.

A Unified Command consisting of the Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and Kirby Inland Marine has been established in response to the allision and diesel spill.

Air monitoring and oil recovery operations were underway Wednesday and the Coast Guard said the source of the spill has been secured.

There have been no reported impacts to wildlife at the time of the latest update, the Coast Guard said.

“We were immediately notified by the crew of Jim Green and responded quickly with our partners at the Texas General Land Office,” said Capt. Tony Hahn, commander, Sector Corpus Christi. “We will be assessing the impacted areas quickly and will ensure a robust and thorough cleanup.”

The Coast Guard is conducting an overflight with pollution responders from the Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office to get an accurate assessment of the impact to the waterway and surrounding areas.

The Coast Guard is also broadcasting a safety marine information broadcast every hour.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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