110 foot dredge sinks near Lakeport State Park in Lake Huron
Port Huron, Mich. (WZZM) Members of the St. Clair County Hazardous Material Team is getting ready to take containment booms to the U.S. Coast Guard at a 110-food commercial dredge that sunk today in Lake Huron.
The team is expected to launch from Lakeport State Park, according to a Times Herald reporter at the park.
The captain on board the dredge that sunk in Lake Huron estimates the vessel carried 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel at the time of its sinking this morning, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Justin Westmiller said.
St. Clair County Emergency Manager Jeff Friedland also is at the park. He said he has been in constant communication with Canadian officials about the situation.
All county beaches are closed until St. Clair County Health Department officials receive more information from the U.S. Coast Guard about the dredge, said Jennifer Michaluk, health education and planning director for the health department.
The St. Clair County Dive Team and hazmat team chief also were expected to head out to the scene of the sunken drudge with Burtchville Township Fire Chief Mark Harrington to assess the situation and see if the dredge is leaking, said Ken Cummings, assistant fire chief.
U.S. and Canadian water plants have been notified of the spill and are monitoring water quality, Cummings said.
MCM Marine Inc. Sault Ste. Marie, owner of the dredge, has hired Marine Pollution Control to make a response plan to clean up the diesel fuel spill. The U.S. Coast Guard is monitoring the clean-up efforts and is assessing the rate at which oil is leaking out of the dredge.
"It appears as though ... it's a coming out of the vents of the fuel tank," Westmiller said.
The Coast Guard learned the dredge, called the Arthur J, was sinking about 4:35 a.m. today as it was headed toward the St. Clair River, Westmiller said. The dredge and a 38-foot tug, called Madison, sunk in 22 feet of water in Lake Huron about 2 miles off of Lakeport.
MCM Marine Inc. Sault Ste. Marie owns both of the vessels.
Westmiller said no one was injured in the incident. Two other tugs took on people who had been on the tug and the dredge. Westmiller did not know how many people were on the vessels.
The Coast Guard in Port Huron responded to the scene with a 25-foot response boat. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality have been notified of the incident.
Westmiller said currently there is a sheen on the water around the sinking site. Members of the Coast Guard are investigating that issue