Texas Oil Spill Claimed to be the Worst in Over 15 Years
Yet another oil spill occurred over the weekend, this time off the coast of Texas. Apparently, the incident happened near Port Arthur and involved 2 vessels. One was the Dixie Vengeance, which was towing 2 barges at the time, and the other was the 807-foot tank ship, Eagle Otome.
The crash caused at least 450,000 gallons of oil to spill into the ocean. The Coast Guard proceeded to close a waterway, deployed 4,000 feet of boom, and set up boundaries around both ships. No injuries were reported from the incident, though that doesn’t speak of the effect all that oil is going to have on the environment.
In a statement, the Coast Guard explained that the
“Eagle Otome sustained damage in the vicinity of the number one starboard tank, which was reported to be loaded with crude oil. The initial estimate of spilled oil is 450,000 gallons”.
However, that all happened on Saturday. Monday presented a whole new series of interesting events.
The spilled gallon count rose to 462,000 and the spill was claimed to be the worst Texas oil spill in over 15 years. One curious thing about the oil, however, is at least half of it has disappeared already. That is to say, 220,000 gallons of oil evaporated, dispersed or had been recovered by Monday.
Clean up crews also expanded by Monday, with over 60 vessels and 550 people from the Coast Guard, shipping company, and others volunteering to help. The line of boom (a floating plastic wall used to contain the spill) is now stretching over 11 miles, though the spill itself only covers a 2 mile area.
The good news is very few animals have been found to be affected by the spill. In fact, only 2 birds were found to be covered in the oil, so far. One of them flew away before they could help it, but the other was able to be caught and cleaned up.
By Heidi Marshall