Coast Guard monitors salvage of tugboat Miss Bonnie in Oregon Inlet

Published 5:57 am Friday, November 22, 2019

On Thursday, November 21, the Coast Guard monitored the salvage of a semi-submerged tugboat responsible for a discharge of diesel fuel in the vicinity of the old Bonner Bridge in Oregon Inlet.

The tugboat grounded and was overwhelmed with storm surge during last weekend’s strong coastal storm, resulting in the vessel overturning and becoming partially submerged near the old Bonner Bridge on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 11:09 a.m. The sheen resulting from the submersion was monitored and collected by crews contracted by the responsible party, according to information from the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard has overseen the deployment of 2,500 feet of sorbent boom and 1,600 feet of containment boom around the vessel to prevent any further spillage.

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There have been no reports of impacts to wildlife at this time. The channel remains open to all vessel traffic.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Christopher Fisher.

“We’re taking every precaution to ensure that the salvage process is as safe as it can be for all involved,” said Lt. Chris Fisher, supervisor for Coast Guard Detached Duty Nags Head. “We’re also dedicated to making sure that any additional discharge of fuel is captured and collected before it can impact the environment.”

Currently, the approved salvage plan calls for the vessel to be dewatered and towed to a harbor of safe refuge where the responsible party can develop a suitability for tow plan before further movement.

Involved in the response are Coast Guard Detached Duty Nags Head, PCL Construction, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Scientific Support Coordinator, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the National Parks Service.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation, according to the Coast Guard.



Coast Guard responds to diesel discharge from semi-submerged tugboat in Oregon Inlet