January 5, 2005

Tanker strikes Westwego pier

The Coast Guard is continuing its investigation into an accident yesterday when a 793-foot tanker struck a pier on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Westwego, La. 

There were no reports of injuries ashore or on the Maltese-flagged tanker Tsunami. 

The 1992-built ship is managed by Cardiff Marine, Inc., Athens, Greece.

A Coast Guard helicopter overflight observed minor sheening in the area, possibly a result of damage to the S.T. Services pier.

Drug and alcohol tests have been administered and the results are pending.

The Tsunami, which was carrying an estimated 20 million gallons of sweet crude oil, reportedly has a 3-foot gash above the waterline along the hull's port side.  There have been no reports of pollution from the vessel.

Contracted clean-up workers are responding to the release of caustic soda that was leaking into the river from broken piping at the pier.

A watchstander at the Marine Safety Office in New Orleans received a report of the collision from an individual on scene at about 11 a.m.  Coast Guard and other local agencies immediately responded to the incident.

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