VIDEO: Responders save Galveston Beach from ATB grounding

VIDEO: Responders save Galveston Beach from ATB grounding USCG

MAY 6, 2017 — Coast Guard response and incident management teams recently coordinated with T & T Marine Salvage and G & H Towing to prevent a disabled ATB tug and barge from running aground on Galveston Island Saturday, April 29.

The incident was first reported roughly three nautical miles off the Galveston Island Pleasure Pier, posing a major threat to one of the island's most populous beach areas.

At 2:19 p.m., an agent for the integrated tug, OSG Independence, and its barge, OSG 243, contacted Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders to report that the tug had separated from the barge in heavy seas off the pier, while dragging both anchors.

The crew worked to connect the emergency tow line, which went under the tug and fouled its starboard propeller.

The vessel's response plan was quickly activated and T&T Salvage was called on to render assistance. T&T's response partner, G&H Towing, mobilized three tugs to the scene.

T&T's supply vessel Holt T was dispatched soon after to transport a salvage team and additional salvage gear to offer further assistance to the disabled vessels. With severe weather ahead, the vessel crew and salvage team were challenged with seas upwards of 12ft and 40+ knot winds.

The G&H tug Thor arrived on scene at around 4 p.m. and began providing assistance. The Thor's crew gained control of the adrift barge at 8:45 p.m. and began towing it away from shore,

The assistance efforts were then joined by the tug boats Deacon and Captain and the Holt T.

There were no injuries to the six people onboard the tug OSG Independence or the two on its barge and no pollution was reported.

"Our divers conducted an underwater assessment and survey, where we were able to identify that not only had the starboard prop been fouled by the tow wire, but rope was also bound tightly around the port wheel" said Kevin Teichman, owner of T&T Salvage. In close coordination with Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Texas City and the vessel's owner, T&T immediately developed a salvage plan to free the propellers from the lines and deliver the tug and barge safely into port. The operation was successfully concluded on Monday, May 1.
In commending the salvors for their efforts, the Commanding Officer of MSU Texas City stated, "Given the circumstances and offshore conditions, it was no small feat to regain control and render assistance to the vessels, ultimately keeping them both from nearing one of the most populated sections of Galveston Beach."

As a nationally recognized Salvage and Marine Firefighting provider under the OPA-90 regulations, T&T Salvage has a long history of protecting the shores of the United States. In 2016, the company conducted over eight emergency response operations within the Gulf Region alone, including the refloating of a sunken inland tug in the San Jacinto River.

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