1 min ago
Response to barge fire continued
The Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and Bouchard Transportation representatives continued to respond to the barge "B 255" that caught fire the previous morning three miles off the jetties of Port Aransas, Texas. Although the fire was out, response efforts continued to minimize the impact to the environment and maritime community. The Coast Guard also continued search and rescue efforts to find the two unaccounted for crewmembers. The Unified Command has taken steps to secure the source of oil pollution at the barge. Multiple oil containment and recovery assets are on scene, including additional oil containment boom to reinforce existing containment boundaries. Discharged oil has made minimal shoreline impact on Mustang Island as of this time. For public safety, do not touch or handle the oil if any is found. Wildlife restoration resources were in place and wildlife restoration specialists are coordinating response efforts to minimize the impacts to wildlife observed along Mustang Island. The Entrance and Jetty Channels remained closed in order to prevent the spread of discharged oil into the port and to safely facilitate cleanup operations. The Lydia Ann Channel and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway remained open. A 1,000-yard safety zone remained in effect around the barge. Report with photo: http://coastguardnews.com/response-to-barge-fire-offshore-of-port-aransas-texas-continues/2017/10/21/
Damaged barge started spilling oil
Oil has spilled from a gash in the barge "B 255" off Port Aransas, but emergency response officials hadn’t yet determined just how much has escaped. The oil covered an area about two miles by a quarter of a mile in size, but some of the area was occupied only by a sheen. Along with the Coast Guard, the Texas General Land Office is one of the lead agencies involved in the response. The GLO hasn’t been able to get close enough to make a determination because they hadn’t been given an all-clear signal that it was safe to approach and that another explosion won’t happen. Also the cause of the ignition hasn’t been determined. The Coast Guard searched throughout the day for the missing man and will resume the search at first light in the morning. Responders have deployed a 2,000-foot-long oil containment boom around the barge. They also have 6,000 more feet of booms that could be used. At least one skimmer vessel that can vacuum oil was on the scene. The oil was leaking in “small amounts” from a gash that was high up the barge hull.
Barge towed by Buster Bouchard on fire - two men missing
The US Coast Guard responded to a an explosion with ensuing fire on the barge "B255" in the morning of Oct 20, 2017, three miles off the jetties of Port Aransas, Texas. Air Station Corpus Christi watchstanders received a mayday at 4:35 a.m from the captain of the tug "Buster Bouchard", who reported that the barge attached to his tug was on fire and two crew members were unaccounted for. The explosion happened while the tug was pulling in anchor about 3.25 miles offshore. The vessel was inbound, heading to the Gulf Copper Ship Yard in Port Aransas. A Coast Guard Station Port Aransas 45-foot response boat and an Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew departed to search for the missing crewmembers. A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and a representative from Gallagher, who is representing Bouchard Transportation who owns the barge, has been set up to manage the incident. The Coast Guard had an EADS-HC 144 airplane and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter used for rescues in the air above the barge. The Port of Corpus Christi’s fireboat along with other local assets are on scene and attempting to extinguish the fire. The Coast Guard has established a 1,000 yard safety zone and is working with the pilots and harbor master to control vessel traffic in the area. As a precautionary measure, air monitoring is being conducted. At this time, there was no indication of health risks to the public. A pollution boom is being staged to protect the environment. The barge was loaded with approximately 133,000 barrels of crude oil. There were initial reports of some oil in the water. Six of the eight crew members were rescued, one of the men initially missing found dead around 11 a.m. As of 11:30 a.m. firefighters from the Corpus Christi Fire Department were still fighting the blaze by boat. The tank barge remained anchored as it burnt off fuel. The tug was nearby, detached and also anchored. Reports with photos and video: http://cw39.com/2017/10/20/coast-guard-barge-catches-fire-near-port-aransas/ http://www.khou.com/news/barge-fire-near-aransas-anchorage/484794247 http://www.kristv.com/story/36642292/coast-guard-reportedly-working-tanker-explosion-in-gulf http://www.portasouthjetty.com/news/2017-10-19/Front_Page/At_least_one_dead_after_barge_explosion.html http://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Offshore-explosion-shakes-Rockport-residents-awake-451890343.htmlUpload News