Sinking boat causes diesel spill in St. Johns River

Section of Southbank Riverwalk closed due to sinking boat

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Investigators are trying to determine how much fuel has leaked into the St. Johns River Tuesday evening after a boat began to sink.

The Coast Guard received a report of The Lady St. Johns, a retired passenger vessel, sinking into the St. Johns River while docked along the Southbank Riverrwalk.

The National Response Center was notified and pollution investigators were dispatched to the scene.

Investigators are trying to determine exactly how much oil has leaked into the river so far and trying to find out what the leak has done to the river, since the diesel fuel has been seeping out for hours.

There were approximately 150 gallons of diesel in the boat, but it's undetermined how much has spilled into the river.

Officials have placed absorbing booms around the boat that are designed to soak up diesel.

Moran Environmental Recovery has been contracted by the owner of the boat for cleanup and is working to contain the release of the diesel.

The ship has been docked and out of service for a while.

City officials said that they don't not expect the spill to do much damage to river.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the Jacksonville City Waterways Manager and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection also responded to the scene.

The cause of why the boat sank was unknown.

Officials said they hope to have Riverwalk opened back up as soon as possible.

No injuries were reported.  

About the Authors: