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Don't Let This Happen to You: All is Lost Due to Bad Fuel

- Thursday, November 10, 2011

Struggling Barge Now Completely Underwater Off Miami Coast
November 9, 2011 10:10 PM

For full story, click here:

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A foundering barge is now completely underwater 20 miles off the coast of Miami.

In the afternoon, photos from boats and planes monitoring the progress of the doomed barge show it standing up in the water, perpendicular to the waves, like a giant exclamation point. Many of the containers have fallen from the barge, and are in the water surrounding or are already headed to the bottom.

“The barge has flipped over and the stern is in the air, and we are monitoring the situation, helping to see if we can expedite the sinking of this barge,” said Capt. Chris Scraba, commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami.

The Coast Guard has been working with the barge and the tug that had been towing it for 3 days, after the tug Sante Tio lost power due to bad fuel.

That sent the tug and the barge, which is more than 200 feet long, adrift in heavy seas. The barge started taking on water, and spent much of the day Tuesday listing in the waves.

“It appears at least half the barge compartments have been compromised and their flooded.” Cory Offutt, owner of Tow Boat US Miami, told CBS4′s David Sutta as they flew over the scene Wednesday.

Salvage companies from across South Florida have tried to save it but in the end couldn’t.  “It’s pretty impressive that it’s still floating, ” Offut said. “It’s amazing the owner is going to lose his barge and his business.  It’s dramatic in a lot of different ways.”

” By sinking the vessel out in 2 thousand feet of water,” Capt. Scaraba said, “we have done the best we can to ensure the environment is safe, and that there is no damage to the environment.”

The cause of the stranding is still under investigation, but the tug and barge began the trip in Haiti, and it’s there has been speculation the tug could have taken on contaminated fuel that fouled it’s engines.

The barge has been valued at $350 thousand.


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