Fuel leak in San Francisco Bay being assessed after barge runs aground

The U.S. Coast Guard is assessing a fuel leak in San Francisco Bay after a barge ran aground near San Francisco’s St. Francis Yacht Club on Tuesday morning.

The unmanned barge, which was being pushed by a tugboat, became stuck on a shallow part of the Bay near the yacht club’s entrance at around 7:30 a.m., U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt. j.g. Laura Williams said.

The barge has the capacity to hold 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel, Williams said.

A Coast Guard helicopter team returning from a search-and-rescue call saw a “slight sheen” in the water while hovering over the barge, she said.

“We’re not sure if the vessel is leaking or if [the sheen] was just residual fuel onboard,” Williams said.

Boom was deployed around the barge to contain any leaking fuel, she said.

Coast Guard pollution investigators are at the scene, along with a 25-foot response boat. No injuries have been reported.

Investigators are trying to determine how the tug boat and barge got so close to shore.

The barge was shipping sand, possibly for a dredging operation, Williams said.

The stuck barge was not blocking passage for boaters, she said. The Coast Guard is urging recreational vessels to avoid the area.


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