Bunker spill in US Gulf

Approximately 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel is spilled as vessel runs aground.



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Updated on 27 Feb 2012 07:51 GMT

The US Coast Guard responded to a grounded vessel and fuel spill near the Sabine jetties, Texas, on Friday.

Watchstanders from Sector Houston-Galveston received a call on Channel 16 at 6:17 a.m. reporting that the M/V Miss Pearl [pictured] ran aground on the west side of the Sabine jetties. It was also reported that the four-person crew had suffered various injuries.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium and crew from Station Sabine and a MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Houston were dispatched to the scene to assist. The crew of the rescue helicopter hoisted the four crewmembers to safety and transported them to awaiting EMS at the Beaumont Airport.

The RBM and the rescue helicopter remain onscene with pollution investigators from Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur to assess the fuel spill that resulted from the grounding. Approximately 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled and pollution response and salvage efforts are ongoing.

"The Coast Guard is working with the vessel owner and will supervise and direct cleanup efforts," said Captain Joe Paitl, commanding officer of MSU Port Arthur. "Our number one priority is the safety of everyone involved in the recovery and cleanup operations. Our goal is to salvage the vessel while mitigating environmental and economic impacts."

The cause of the grounding is under investigation.