Tug boat sinks with 200 gal. of fuel aboard

The Coast Guard has established a safety zone in the St. Mary’s River near Sault Ste. Marie after a tug boat sank Monday morning.

The Coast Guard says the tug boat, named Hammond Bay, was carrying 200 gallons of diesel fuel and 15 gallons of oil. The Coast Guard is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to minimize any environmental damage and impact to waterways from the sunken ship.  They are also working on finding a way to remove the tug boat from the river.

The crew of the Bill Maier, owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, was towing the tug boat and three barges when they lost sight of the tug.  They secured the three barges, and reported finding an oil sheen and a life ring from the Hammond Bay, leading them to believe the tug boat had sunk.

The Sault Ste. Marie Coast Guard Station responded to the incident with a boat crew and pollution responder.  An aircrew from the Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City is conducting aerial assessments.

The Hammond Bay was found in 27 feet of water in the middle of the river.

No one was aboard the Hammond Bay when it sunk.