Barge Collision With Oil Spill in Houston Ship Channel

Last Saturday at approximately 12:35 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston received a call from the captain of the 585-foot bulk carrier Summer Wind, reporting a collision between the Summer Wind and a barge, containing 924,000 gallons of fuel oil, towed by the motor vessel Miss Susan.

2014.03.23 - Barge Collision With Oil Spill in Houston Ship Channel Figure 1

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Ballasting While Loading or Discharging From Barges

West of England P&I issued an alert regarding ballasting while loading or discharging from barges in response to a number of cases recently where dry bulk products stowed inside barges made fast to the ship have been damaged by ballast water. Incidents of this type may lead to significant cargo claims and are almost always avoidable.

On two occasions the vessels concerned were discharging into barges and ballasting simultaneously. During the ballasting operation the double bottom tanks were flooded and water overflowed on to the main deck. The water then rained away via the overboard scuppers and into the open holds of barges moored alongside.

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