Disabled tug boat at Oregon Inlet leaking fuel

A partially submerged tug boat is leaking diesel fuel into Oregon Inlet. The tug struck the old Bonner Bridge Sunday during the winter storm.

A tug boat that struck the old Bonner Bridge Sunday is leaking diesel fuel.

As much as 6,000 gallons could leak into the inlet from the partially submerged tugboat, the Miss Bonnie, according to a Coast Guard news release. But estimates are that only 3,000 gallons remained on board.

The Coast Guard received a report of a sheen emanating from the tugboat on Monday morning, the release said.

PCL Construction, the company demolishing the old bridge, has taken responsibility for the incident and has deployed 200 feet of an absorbent boom and 175 of a containment boom, the release said. The company expects to set out a secondary boom on Tuesday and salvage the tug as soon as weather permits.

Oregon Inlet remains open to traffic.

The Miss Bonnie struck the bridge Sunday during the weekend nor’easter and capsized. The crew was rescued and no one was injured.

The Coast Guard is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientific support coordinator to determine the likely trajectory of the discharged diesel fuel and then decide what to do to prevent environmental impacts.

Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272, jeff.hampton@pilotonline.com

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