Crews cleaning oil leak from sunken West Virginia boat, Coast Guard says

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington members are responding to a sunken vessel with reports of discharging product near mile marker 8 on the Big Sandy River near Butler, W.V., on Wednesday

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington members are responding to a sunken vessel with reports of discharging product near mile marker 8 on the Big Sandy River near Butler, W.V., on Wednesday (U.S. Coast Guard)

Crews in West Virginia are working to clean up an oil spill after learning of a reported sunken boat, the Coast Guard said in a news release Wednesday night.

At 7:40 a.m., members of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington got word from the vessel’s owner saying the “Gate City” had sunk where it was anchored on the Big Sandy River near Butler and was leaking oil, the statement said.

The boat’s leak reportedly had “a maximum potential of 5,000 gallons.”

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They did not elaborate on how the boat sank or how much oil had leaked so far.

Several units, including the pollution response team and the oil spill response team, arrived to the area to begin work to clean up the oil and prevent it from spreading further. They were also reportedly working on a plan to extract any leftover oil from the boat.

The Coast Guard and the environmental protection departments of West Virginia and neighboring Kentucky have opened an investigation into the event.