CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and Bouchard Transportation representatives continue to respond Saturday to a barge that caught fire Friday morning three miles off the jetties of Port Aransas, Texas.
Although the fire is out, response efforts continue to minimize the impact to the environment and maritime community.
The Coast Guard continues search and rescue efforts to find the two unaccounted for crewmembers.
The Unified Command has taken steps to secure the source of oil pollution at the barge. Multiple oil containment and recovery assets are on scene, including additional oil containment boom to reinforce existing containment boundaries.
Discharged oil has made minimal shoreline impact on Mustang Island as of this time. For public safety, do not touch or handle the oil if any is found.
The Entrance and Jetty Channels remain closed in order to prevent the spread of discharged oil into the port and to safely facilitate cleanup operations. The Lydia Ann Channel and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway remain open. A 1,000-yard safety zone remains in effect around the barge.
“Search and rescue, environmental protection, and opening the entrance channel are amongst our highest priorities,” said Capt. Jason Smith, the Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi acting sector commander. “We are working diligently to secure the source and contain the discharge of oil in order to open the channel and mitigate environmental impacts.”