VIDEO: Tanker Breaks Free after Grounding off Texas, No Pollution

An oil tanker that ran aground Tuesday, 35 miles east of Galveston, was freed yesterday from grounding as it refloated at 10:32 p.m, the US Coast Guard said.

At approximately 8:30 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a call from the captain of the SN Federica, a 750-foot Italian flagged oil tanker, reporting that while transiting into the Galveston Fairway they ran aground and incurred damage to the forepeak of the vessel, causing an ingress of water.

The ingress of water was later determined to be ballast water and the ship was not leaking.

Watchstanders launched crews from Marine Saftey Unit Texas City, Station Galveston and Air Station Houston to respond to the incident. The SN Federica was carrying more than 400,000 barrels of crude oil, or nearly 17 million gallons.

Once on scene, a Coast Guard marine casualty inspector and an investigating officer confirmed that the oil tanker was not taking on water and that there was no pollution. Coast Guard crews also confirmed that the previously reported ingress of water was from the ships ballast tank.

SN Federica sits dead in the water after running aground off Galveston March 31, 2015
SN Federica sits dead in the water after running aground off Galveston March 31, 2015

The SN Federica initiated their vessel response plan and began the procress of dewatering their ballast tanks. The vessel completed ballast operations and was finally refloated at 10:32 p.m., with no pollution or injuries, the Coast Guard added.

MSU Texas City is overseeing the seaworthiness assessment and investigating the cause of the incident.

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port issued an order to restrict the vessel from federal waters until a damage assessment, underwater hull survey, dive report and ship’s classification survey report are complete to validate the seaworthiness of the ship.

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