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A Barge Caught Fire Friday Morning

Courtesy Photo
U.S. Coast Guard District 8

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, and a Bouchard Transportation representative continue to respond to a barge that caught fire Friday morning three miles off the jetties of Port Aransas, Texas.

The Coast Guard continues a search and rescue effort to find the two unaccounted for crewmembers.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, and they are monitoring for reflashing, or re-ignition, by a local surface asset fire watch which will be in effect through the night.

Air monitoring has been completed by the state and confirmed to be no threat to the public.

The unified command is working to keep any oil discharge contained and mitigated any impacts to the marine environment. 2,000-feet of oil-containment boom has arrived on scene and is currently being deployed around the barge to trap any oil that has entered the water. They are using an additional 6,000-feet of the boom to protect environmentally sensitive areas.

The Captain of the Port has closed the entrance and jetty channels leading to the Corpus Christi ship channel from Harbor Island to offshore to prevent the spread of discharged oil into the port and to safely facilitate cleanup operations. The Lydia Ann channel and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway remain open. A 1,000-yard safety zone remains in effect around the barge.

“The unified command is mitigating all threats while ensuring the safety of all response personnel,” said Capt. Jason Smith, the Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi acting sector commander. “We are very appreciative to the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilot Association, Port of Corpus Christi, and maritime community who have supported the efforts to extinguish the fire, contain the discharge and search for the missing crewmembers.”