Leaking Barge Capsizes In San Francisco Bay, Cleanup Underway [Updated]

A freight barge that capsized south of the Bay Bridge early this morning is leaking and has 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 300 gallons of lube oil on board, Coast Guard officials said Friday.

The 112-foot freight barge Vengeance capsized in the bay between Yerba Buena Island and the city of Oakland, said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman
Adam Stanton.

The barge, which is under contract with BART, sank shortly after midnight, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said in a statement.

National Response Corporation Emergency Services, a private company, has deployed 3,000 feet of boom around the barge to keep the spill contained, and cleanup strategies are underway, Stanton said.

Stanton said the 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel are in barrels, not in the vessel's tank.

"We are not seeing any signs of oil in the water," Stanton said.

The barge, which is usually moored at Treasure Island, is part of work that is periodically done to prevent corrosion in the Transbay Tube, Trost said. No crews were on board at the time and neither the tube nor the morning commute were affected, she said.

Coast Guard Station San Francisco crews are enforcing a safety zone in the area to ensure the safety of responders. A safety marine information broadcast has been issued to local mariners, according to the Coast Guard.

The owners of the sunken barge have contacted Global Diving and Salvage to assess the salvage response and environmental impact, the Coast Guard said.

No shoreline or wildlife impact has been reported, the Coast Guard
said. A Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco helicopter crew is flying over
the area.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund has been opened for $50,000 for pollution mitigation, according to the Coast Guard.

Update, 2:42pm: Adam Stanton, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard District 11, initially said there was "no oil in the water," but Petty Officer 3rd Class
Sarah Wilson has since clarified that a sheen of oil was detected by a
helicopter around 8am.

—Janis Mara

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Leaking barge capsizes in san francisco bay cleanup underway