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THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2007
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The Capt. John B. towboat sits under water up to the main hull in the Florence port area of the Tennessee River on Tuesday. Cleanup crews mopped up diesel fuel Wednesday that leaked from the boat. About 50 gallons of fuel leaked after it sank Monday, Coast Guard officials said, and water systems downstream were monitoring the situation.
AP photo by Matt Mckean
The Capt. John B. towboat sits under water up to the main hull in the Florence port area of the Tennessee River on Tuesday. Cleanup crews mopped up diesel fuel Wednesday that leaked from the boat. About 50 gallons of fuel leaked after it sank Monday, Coast Guard officials said, and water systems downstream were monitoring the situation.

Crews in Florence seek to contain fuel spill at port

FLORENCE (AP) — Clean-up crews were mopping up diesel fuel Wednesday that leaked from a towboat that sank at the port of Florence.

About 50 gallons of fuel leaked from the Capt. John B. towboat after it sank Monday, Coast Guard officials said, and water systems downstream were monitoring the situation.

“A boom has been deployed to contain the diesel fuel and the spill is being cleaned up,” said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas Blue, who is based in New Orleans.

A cause for the sinking hasn’t been determined.

Only the boat’s upper decks and pilothouse were visible after the sinking, and the boat is expected to be raised sometime this week.

The port remains open,
but the leak remained a concern.

“The emergency management agency is keeping us advised about what is going on,” Colbert County Engineer John Bedford said. “We don’t anticipate any problems with our water plant, but we’re keeping a close watch just in case there is a fuel spill that moves down river.”

Colbert County, Sheffield and Cherokee operate treatment plants on Pickwick Lake downstream from Florence.

Jim Lowe, director of the Florence-Lauderdale Port Authority, said the Capt. John B. towboat belonged to Muscle Shoals Marine of Florence.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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