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Boreal Community Media

Sunken Vessel in Lake Superior leaks oil

Aug 29, 2019 10:27AM ● By Editor
A white containment boom is attached to contain the release of any hazardous material.  Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

From - August 29, 2019

Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie is responding to a report of an oil sheen near a sunken 33-foot towing vessel in Northport Bay, Mich.

At 7:48 a.m., the Coast Guard received a report of the towing vessel Rawhide, sunk in Northport Bay. Local first responders reported an oil sheen near the vessel. Coast Guard pollution responders reported to the scene early this afternoon to assess the situation and oversee the response. The sunken vessel appears to be the source of the oil sheen. Pollution responders oversaw the placement of containment boom around the vessel. 

A Coast Guard helicopter reported to the scene to conduct an overflight. The majority of the oil sheen is contained within the boom. The portion of oil sheen outside of the boom is dissipating due to the weather and wave action.

The owner of the towing vessel plans to commence salvage operations to refloat the vessel and pump off any remaining pollutants tomorrow, when the weather is favourable. The Coast Guard will continue to oversee the owner’s cleanup of the release of any hazardous materials and the salvage of the vessel. Pollution responders continue to endeavour to work with the owner of the vessel to determine the maximum potential pollution release.

It is determined that at the time of the sinking, vessel was at anchor and no persons were onboard.

Local emergency managers are notified of the sunken vessel and the reported oil sheen. Anyone that has been adversely affected by an oil spill can contact the National Pollution Fund Center claims number at 1-800-280-7118.

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