A plan to remove a tug boat that sank Dec. 19, 2018, in Jekyll Creek west of Jekyll island, Ga., is underway. The tug may be removed by a salvage team sometime within the next two to three weeks if weather and other circumstances permit.
The 56-foot tug Miss Addison was surveyed today by the Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit of Savannah, the Jekyll Island Authority, Able Bodied Marine Surveyors of Jacksonville, Fla., the Rhode Island-based environmental remediation company Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance and the vessel’s owner, Salonen Marine of Yulee, Fla.
Salonen Marine’s insurance company, Continental Insurance, is in the bidding process to select a salvage company to remove the Miss Addison. A contract for the removal is expected to be awarded after the insurance company completes its due diligence, likely sometime in the next few days.
Once the contract is awarded, it will likely take about a week to mobilize equipment, including the necessary crane barges to salvage the Miss Addison. The salvage effort will probably take about three days to complete once equipment is in place.
The Miss Addison’s owner intends to refloat the vessel and tow it to Fernandina Beach, Fla., for repairs. During the removal, crews will use containment booms and a skimmer boat to insure pollution is mitigated. The U.S. Coast Guard will notify boaters if navigability of Jekyll Creek is temporarily impacted by the salvage operation.
The Miss Addison did not appear to be leaking any fuel when observed today. Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance installed containment booms around the vessel following the sinking and 2,265 gallons of diesel fuel was safely pumped off the tug. It does not appear any fuel is remaining. The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for responding to pollution spills in navigable waterways.
It is unclear why the vessel sank and the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating. No one was injured in the sinking, which happened at about 6 p.m., an hour before high tide. The vessel was traveling at about 7 knots when the sinking occurred, which took only a matter of minutes.
The Miss Addison is currently sitting on its port side in about five feet of water west of the main channel of Jekyll Creek. The waterway is still navigable, but boaters should use caution when passing the Miss Addison, as the containment booms are anchored to the water bottom.
CRD is the division of DNR entrusted to manage Georgia’s coastal marshes, beaches, waters and fisheries for the benefit of present and future generations. The division strives to be an agency of knowledgeable and compassionate professionals who are trusted, respected and empowered to help the public be good stewards of Georgia’s natural assets and socio-cultural heritage. It is headquartered in Brunswick.
Information from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources