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Photos: Crews lift stranded boat from Mississippi River at LeClaire

Posted on: 10:25 am, December 10, 2013, by

Photo Gallery Expand 1 of 10
  • Cleanup at the Stephen L Colby wreck site 12-8-13 (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally)

  • Coast Guard crews at the Stephen L Colby site 12-8-13 (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally)

  • Crews begin to lift the Stephen L Colby from Mississippi River 12-9-13 (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaclyn Young)

  • Crews connect sling to the Stephen L Colby in wintry weather 12-8-13 (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally)

  • Crews lift the Stephen L Colby out of Mississippi River at LeClaire (photo from US Coast Guard by Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana OLeary)

  • Crews work to lift the Stephen L Colby from the Mississippi River 12-9-13 (photo from US Coast Guard by Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana OLeary)

  • Crews work to sling the Stephen L Colby in preparation for lifting it from the Mississippi River (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana OLeary)

  • Diver surfaces from river as salvage crews dewater the Stephen L Colby 12-9-13 (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaclyn Young)

  • Salvage efforts during snow at the Stephen L Colby wreck site 12-8-13 (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally)

  • Stephen L Colby is dewatered as it is lifted out of Mississippi River 12-9-13 (photo from US Coast Guard by Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana OLeary)

Salvage crews lifted the stranded Stephen L. Colby from the water two weeks after it sank and leaked petroleum in the Mississippi River at LeClaire, Iowa.

The boat was carrying an estimated 89,000 gallons of diesel fuel plus more than 1,000 gallons of other petroleum products when it ran aground Monday, November 25, 2013.  Nine crew members were aboard, and they all escaped unharmed.  The wreck closed an eight-mile stretch of the Mississippi River.

Hundreds of gallons of petroleum initially leaked from the Stephen L. Colby into the Mississippi River, and wildlife authorities were concerned about the potential environmental impact on migrating birds and other wildlife in and near the water.  Drinking water sourced from the river was not impacted for several local communities downstream from the leak.

The Coast Guard later assessed nearly 40,000 gallons of an oil-and-water mixture had been removed from the river.

Crews battled frigid weather and a snow storm as they worked to pull the vessel out of the water.  The Colby was lifted from the water Monday, December 9.  The boat was dewatered in an operation that involved crews on land and divers in the water.   Temperatures that day were below 20 degrees with wind chills in single digits.

Once the boat is removed from the water and refloated, it was expected to take an additional four days for crews to pump the remaining water and fuel from the vessel.

The damage will then be patched and the boat will be ready to be towed to a repair facility about 300 miles downriver.

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