NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A crane and barge has arrived to begin salvage operations for a tug boat that sank a week ago off the coast of North Myrtle Beach, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Three people were rescued by Horry County Fire Rescue when the 59-foot boat sank in 30 feet of water on Aug. 8. The boat had about 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board when it sank.
Late Monday night, the Coast Guard said in an online marine safety information bulletin that a crane and barge operated by Resolve Marine had arrived at the scene where the submerged push tug Jacqueline sank and was “preparing for the fuel and vessel recovery evolutions.”
During the salvage operation, the Coast Guard said it would enforce a half-mile safety zone to protect salvage crews. No vessels will be allowed in the area unless they are authorized by the Coast Guard.
The salvage operation is taking about 2.5 miles off the coast and is expected to take about 10 days to complete, the Coast Guard said. Personnel with the contractor Moran Environmental Recovery LLC will monitor the vessel and “act in the event of any significant discharges from the vessel.”
The area where the boat sank has been marked with buoys, and a light has been installed on the mast to alert maritime traffic, the Coast Guard said. All vents on the vessel were sealed and reinforced to minimize pollution risks until recovery while recovery equipment was en route.
There have been no reports of shoreline impacts, according to the Coast Guard.