Tanker laden with fuel runs aground on Shore

no leaks or injuries reported

April 17, 2002|By Johnathon E. Briggs | Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF

Two tugboats pulled a 600-foot tanker carrying 8 million gallons of gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene back into the shipping channel of the Chesapeake Bay last night after the vessel ran aground in 23 feet of water southwest of Tolchester Beach in Kent County.

None of the petroleum cargo onboard the M/S Fulgur leaked, and its double hull appeared to be intact as the vessel made its way to the port of Baltimore under its own power, said Coast Guard Lt. Russell Bowman. No injuries were reported.

The vessel, operated by Shell International Trading and Shipping Co., was on its way to Baltimore from Newark, N.J., when its crew notified the Coast Guard about 6 p.m. of a loss of steering ability.

The ship ran aground a little less than a mile off the Eastern Shore.

The Coast Guard placed an environmental response team on standby as marine inspectors examined the integrity of the ship's hull, investigators tried to determine the cause of the incident and the shipping company arranged for the tugboats.

Aided by high tide, the two tugs hired by Shell were able to pull the year-old vessel into the channel about 11:15 p.m. and, with inspectors and investigators on board the tanker, followed it to the Hess terminal of the port of Baltimore.

Bowman said the Coast Guard will continue its investigation, including an examination of the reported loss of steering.

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