August 1, 2008
Mississippi ship channel open
In its latest update on efforts to salvage the barge DM 932 and clean up as much as 420,000 gallons of oil spilled in the Mississippi River, the Coast Guard today reported that more than 400 vessels have been cleared, inspected and/or decontaminated and released since operations began July 23.
Vessel traffic continues to move with safety restrictions.
The entire length of the river's ship channel remains open to deep-draft vessels and a plan is in place to resume maintenance dredging at the head of pass.
Salvage operations on the barge DM 932 continued Friday. Hoist points, called padeyes, were being attached to a crane that will first stabilize and eventually lift the bow section of the barge.
The Unified Command positioned a High Volume Open Sea Skimmer (HOSS), a Clean Gulf and Associates vessel, near the barge DM 932 Thursday morning as a response asset during barge lifting operations.
Positioned behind the HOSS are two fast response skimmers and positioned behind those are 10 Marco skimmers along with strategically placed boom and numerous vacuum trucks.
The HOSS was put into operations Thursday to protect against incidental releases of oil from the salvage site. The HOSS will remain on scene throughout the salvage process.
More than 122,000 gallons of an oil/water mix has been recovered to date.
More than 2,000 responders are currently deployed throughout the region affected by the spill.
Field responders are using three tugs, 159 work boats, four barges, 20 skimmers and 13 vacuum trucks on scene to clean up the spill.