Monday, May 02, 2005

Barge Hits Reef, Spills Gas Into Hudson River At Diamond Point

A tugboat pushing a barge with 75,000 barrels of gasoline struck the reef at Diamond Point off New Hamburg in the Hudson River shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday. At least two of the 10 chambers on the barge ruptured and spilled an unknown quantity of gasoline into the river. The tugboat/barge stopped mid-river north of New Hamburg in the Marlboro area. The tugboat, the Bruce A. McAllister, owned by McAllister Towing and Transport, was pushing barge B-35 north on the river en route to the port of Albany. The Buchard Company owns the barge. The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office said the crew of the tugboat was able to stop the spill. The strong winds from a passing storm helped to speed up the evaporation of the gasoline. That also helped to disperse the gas vapors and minimized the possibility of a fire. Another barge was expected last night to off-load the gas and continue its trip to Albany. This is not the first time a commercial vessel has hit the reef at Diamond Point, the Sheriff’s Office said. The channel is narrow, there is a bend in the river and the reef is solid rock. The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting an investigation of the incident. A spokesman for the agency did not return calls for comment last night.
Grounded barge gets a push from The tugboat, the Bruce A. McAllister, near Marlboro

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