Explosion and Fire After Dredger Hits Gas Pipeline in Texas

Jonathon King Boyd dredger fire
The dredger Jonathon King Boyd on fire near Port O’Connor, Texas, April 17, 2018. Photo courtesy Maritime Throwdown 

The Coast Guard responded Tuesday evening to a gas pipeline explosion and fire near Port O’Connor, Texas after it was struck by a dredger, the Coast Guard confirmed today.

The dredger also caught fire but all crew member abandoned ship safely.

Photos posted to Facebook by the page Maritime Throwdown show flames engulfing the vessel. 

USCG sector Corpus Christi watchstanders received a mayday call from the dredger Jonathon King Boyd reporting that the vessel was on fire after hitting a gas pipeline while conducting dredging operations.

All 10 crew members aboard the Jonathan King Boyd were safely removed by the vessel First State, which was on scene at the time of the fire.

A Unified Command consisting of Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and RLB Contracting Inc., was responding to the incident on Wednesday. 

Here is some video captured by the U.S. Coast Guard:

A one-mile safety zone remains in effect around the dredge. The Intracoastal Waterway remains closed to traffic from mile marker 468 to mile marker 474 to include the Matagorda Ship Channel from the jetties to seven nautical miles inside the bay.

Natural gas continues to burn from the pipeline, with the pipeline‚Äôs pressure decreasing. The impacted pipeline is secured and the remaining gas is residual, the Coast Guard said Wednesday. 

The gas pipeline is owned Genesis Energy. 

“The safety of our response personnel, environmental protection, and opening up local waterway traffic, are amongst our highest priorities,” said Lt. j.g. Andrew Garcia, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi incident commander. “We continue to work with our partner agencies and responsible party to contain any potential discharge of fuel in order to mitigate environmental impacts.”