Crews begin salvage operations for tug boat that sank off US east coast

A crane and barge arrived last week to begin salvage operations for tug boat Jacqueline, which sank earlier this month off the coast of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the US Coast Guard has said.

Three people were rescued by Horry County Fire Rescue when the 59ft boat sank in 30ft of water on August 8th. The boat had about 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board when it sank, leading to pollution concers.

The USCG said in an online marine safety information bulletin that a crane and barge operated by Resolve Marine had arrived at the scene where the submerged push tug sank and that the salvor was “preparing for the fuel and vessel recovery evolutions”.

The USCG said that during the salvage operation it would be enforcing a half-mile safety zone to protect salvage crews.

The salvage operation was taking place about 2.5 miles off the coast and was expected to last about 10 days.

Personnel with the contractor Moran Environmental Recovery LLC were monitoring the vessel and would act in the event of any significant discharges from the vessel.

The area where the boat sank was marked with buoys and a light has been installed on the mast to alert maritime traffic, the Coast Guard said. All vents on the vessel were sealed and reinforced to minimize pollution risks.