Diesel From Sunken Tugboat Floods McFarland Park’s Waters


After receiving a call about a diesel flood that was washing up on the shore, the Florence Police Department swiftly urged McFarland Park swimmers to get out of the water. The diesel came from a sunken tugboat near O’Neal Bridge.

The caller, RJ Gibson, said he immediately alerted the authorities after seeing rainbow coloration in the water and sensing a strong pungent smell – citing that it can give someone a headache. The area was closed down until further notice to the public.

Emergency Management George Grabryan advised swimmers to wash themselves thoroughly. In addition, they’ll initiate an investigation on the tugboat’s origin – as no one was seen aboard or operating it. He adds there were no reported injuries or deaths associated with the incident.

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Officials’ Cleanup Efforts

The diesel came from a sunken tugboat near O’Neal Bridge.

Furthermore, they aren’t sure how it sank. Grabryan says they might find out soon, since officials managed to contact the company that owns the vessel. The water was applied with boom, a material that soaks up oil, to keep the contamination within the area and its port

Additionally, they’ve also collaborated with several local agencies, including the Coast Guard, to plan a clean-up operation and raise the vessel. Grabryan says the cleanup will take several days, and they’ll place it as their main priority.

The process was suspended once dusk hit, but resumed in the morning. A crane was sent to help lift the sunken vessel. Grabryan expressed that incidents like these are uncommon for them, but glad that experts are here to assist them with the issue.

Grabryan adds that boating won’t be affected, but the area will be still off-limits to swimmers until all the fuel is properly cleaned and disposed of. As of right now, they’re still unsure on how the vessel sank and there hasn’t been any updates with the owners of it.

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Source: CNN, WHNT News 19

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