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Grounded No More

The U.S. Coast Guard says a grounded ship near the Houston Ship Channel has been refloated with no damage to the vessel and no impact to the environment. Pat Hernandez has the story.


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The 523 foot tanker, registered to the United Kingdom, is now anchored outside the Port of Galveston, waiting to get the green light to depart. Commander Jim Elliott is with the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit in Galveston.

“The chemical carrier Isabel Knutsen ran aground yesterday morning about 5:30 am, as they were heading out of the Houston Ship Channel. We responded immediately, got our investigating team onboard, and also an assessment team. It appeared to be a pretty hard ground. We called in a salvage team assist with the refloat.”

The tanker was carrying more than 15 thousand metric tons of liquid chemical cargo and about 660 metric tons of fuel oil when it lost steering and ran aground in the southeastern corner of the intercoastal waterway and the Houston Ship Channel. Commander Elliott says some of the ship’s cargo was transferred to another vessal before tugboats freed the tanker.

“It was heading southbound in the Houston Ship Channel, and then it went across the channel to the other side, on the Bolivar side. No one was injured in the grounding. There was no environmental impact, the vessel remained intact, so it’s a pretty soft bottom or a mud bottom there, so there was no damage to the vessel.”

He says a dive team was busy doing an under-hull survey to make sure the tanker is structurally sound to leave the area.

“These are the type of vessels that come in and out of the Houston Ship Channel, and we have a vessel traffic system that monitors ships coming in and out. If we any kind of incident like this, we immediatley respond.”

Pat Hernandez, KUHF News.

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