Response to sunken towboat continues

Response to sunken towboat continues U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally

DECEMBER 4, 2013 — The U.S. Coast Guard says that salvage, clean-up and environmental protection efforts continue in response to the sunken towboat Stephen L. Colby on the Mississippi River near LeClaire, Iowa, Tuesday.

The 144 ft Marquette Transportation Co. towboat sank after striking a submerged  a submerged object near LeClaire, November 24. At the time of the sinking, nine crew members were aboard and all were able to make it to safety. Approximately 100,000 gallons of petroleum products were aboard.

A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and local and industry representatives is working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  to prevent wildlife from pollution exposure.

The unified command is working in conjunction with the community to ensure the environment is restored to its original state. The response has brought in local, regional and national all-hazard pollution response experts to assist in the efforts.

The unified command has deployed 3,700-feet of containment boom, 3,480-feet of sorbent boom, four skimmer vessels, five workboats and approximately 160 response personnel responding to the cleanup and salvage operations.

Approximately 61,970 gallons of oily-water mixture has been recovered from the river, 88,801 gallons of oily-water mixture recovered from the Stephen L. Colby, and more than 1,800 cubic-feet of oily waste has been collected.

A safety zone has been established along the Iowa riverbank extending outward 1,000 feet near Ferry Street to one mile down river near Canal Shore Drive SW, to protect the public and response crews during salvage and cleanup operations.

Vessels desiring to transit the safety zone should contact the vessel Marc on VHF-FM radio channel 16 and 9 or call 563-320-5382.

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