Tugboat Sinks in Little Rock, Ark., Harbor

July 7, 2010

The U.S. Coast Guard says it’s investigating to find out what caused a tugboat to sink while it was docked at the Port of Little Rock on the Arkansas River.

Coast Guard Operational Specialist Kevin Wingate said the Motor Vessel Stafford sank about 2 p.m. Saturday while tied up alongside another boat. No injuries were reported.

The boat, owned by Smith Towing Co., had about 2,000 gallons of fuel in its tanks, and the Coast Guard set up an oil-protection boom around the tug. Wingate said, however, that was done as a precautionary measure, because there was no sign of any oil leak. He said an oil-recovery specialist would be brought in to clean up any fuel that may have leaked.

Tugboats and towboats are used to manipulate barges that ply the Arkansas River, navigable from Catoosa, Okla., to the river’s confluence with the Mississippi.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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