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  Oil Spill Shuts Savannah River

    Monday 22 March 2010

Peter T. Leach | Mar 22, 2010 5:57PM GMT

Ruptured fuel tank leaves 7,000 gallons of diesel in water

The Savannah River remained closed in the early afternoon Monday after the U.S. Coast Guard conducted a helicopter flyover late in the morning to monitor the effects of Sunday’s fuel spill and determine when the river can be reopened to vessel traffic.

A fuel tank ruptured late Sunday morning on a ship at the Georgia Ports Authority’s Ocean Terminal, causing an estimated 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel to spill into the river just west of the Talmadge Bridge.

The accident closed the river to vessel traffic and filled the air with pungent diesel fumes.

Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz said Monday five vessels were ready to leave port and eight vessels queued up to come in when the river reopens.

"We’ll have a very busy 24 hours or so after the river reopens," Foltz said. "But we should be caught up sometime Tuesday."

The 625-foot Liberty, owned by American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier LLC, was damaged as it was departing the port facility about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, puncturing its hull and rupturing its starboard fuel tank.

See online : The Journal of Commerce