CHESHIRE — A towboat that sank on Friday near the village of Cheshire remains in the Ohio River, according to the United States Coast Guard.
Due to a strong river current, and rising water, the USCG is monitoring the situation with a crew on scene, according to Petty Officer Third Class Lexie Preston, with public affairs.
As previously reported, a press release from the USCG on Friday afternoon stated its “Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington received a report at 1 p.m. that day, that the towing vessel Ed McLaughlin, owned by McGinnis Marine, capsized on the Ohio River at mile marker 259. All three crewmembers that were aboard the vessel are accounted for and have been taken to a local hospital and were reported to be in stable condition. There is an estimated 4,900 gallons of diesel fuel on board. Light sheening is reported to be around the vessel. Members from MSU Huntington are en route to the scene to determine if the vessel is leaking fuel and to provide initial assessments of potential environmental and waterway impacts.”
Later Friday evening, Preston said though there was that “light sheening” around the vessel, the source of the sheening was unknown. At that time on Friday, no active fuel leaks had been discovered.
On Monday, Preston reported the “light sheening” had remained around the vessel and this leads the Coast Guard to believe there could be “some kind of discharge,” leaking but just what the discharge is or the discharge rate is unknown. Part of this is due to water conditions making it difficult for investigators and responders at the scene.
Besides monitoring the situation, “there really isn’t anything that can be done until the current slows down,” Preston said, adding the Coast Guard, along with its crew currently on scene monitoring the situation, also has a mitigation team on standby to mitigate any risk of fuel leakage.
What caused this incident remains under investigation.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.