Capsized Tug Spills Diesel in Oregon Inlet, North Carolina

The semi-submerged tugboat Miss Bonnie sits in the water after alliding with the Old Bonner Bridge, Nov. 18, 2019, in Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday was called to a diesel fuel spill from a partially submerged tugboat that had allided with the Old Bonner Bridge in Oregon Inlet on Sunday.

The Coast Guard said it was alerted of the sheen at approximately 10 a.m. Monday and it was reported to be leaking from the capsized tugboat Miss Bonnie.

The tugboat allided with the Old Bonner Bridge on Sunday morning during high winds. All eight crew members made it to shore safety and no injuries were reported.

Maximum potential for the discharge is reported to be 6,000 gallons, however, it is estimated 3,000 gallons were on board the tug when it sank.

Pictured is the diesel spill resulting from the semi-submerged tugboat Miss Bonnie, Nov. 18, 2019. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The responsible party has deployed 200 feet of sorbent boom and 175 feet of containment boom around the vessel, and is scheduled to deploy secondary ocean boom on Tuesday. Salvage operations will begin the weather permits. 

The Coast Guard said there have been no reports of impacts to wildlife so far and the channel currently remains open to all vessel traffic.

“Protecting the marine environment is a top priority for the Coast Guard,” said Capt. Bion Stewart, commander of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “We are overseeing the responsible party’s actions to mitigate environmental impacts resulting from the discharge and to remove the vessel when it is safe to do so.”

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.