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8th District Heartland Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

December 09, 2013


Contact: Joint Information Center

Office: (563) 505-4548

Stephen L. Colby lifted, operations continue

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please click on the thumbnails below to download high-resolution photos and video.

Response crews with the Stephen L. Colby Response began dewatering and lifting operations of the 154-foot sunken towboat near LeClaire, Iowa, Dec. 9, 2013. The Stephen L. Colby sunk in the Mississippi River near LeClaire Nov. 25 and response crews have been working since then to safely lift the vessel from the riverbank. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaclyn Young)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1068680/stephen-l-colby-response-crews-commence-lifting-operations#.UqZID43QE64#ixzz2n1KxDw9D A contracted diver surfaces from the Mississippi River while salvage crews dewater the 154-foot towboat Stephen L. Colby in preparation of lifting operations from the riverbank near LeClaire, Iowa, Dec. 9, 2013. Response crews battled through icy and below freezing conditions for five days while working in preparation of lifting. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaclyn Young)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1068681/stephen-l-colby-response-crews-commence-lifting-operations#.UqZISI3QE64#ixzz2n1LAsMEs The 154-foot towboat Stephen L. Colby is dewatered during the lift phase of salvage operations in LeClaire, Iowa, Dec. 9, 2013. Crews have worked continuously to repair and refloat the vessel since it reportedly struck an unknown submerged object in the Mississippi River channel and sank Nov. 25. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana O'Leary)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1068683/stephen-l-colby-response-crews-commence-lifting-operations#.UqZIlI3QE64#ixzz2n1LWO33u Members of the Stephen L. Colby Response Unified Command observe the lifting and refloating of the 154-foot towboat near LeClaire, Iowa, Dec. 9, 2013. Crews have worked continuously to repair and refloat the vessel since it reportedly struck an unknown submerged object in the Mississippi River channel and sank Nov. 25. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana O'Leary)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1068684/stephen-l-colby-response-crews-commence-lifting-operations#.UqZIzo3QE64#ixzz2n1Ljsm4s Response crews work to dewater the 154-foot towboat Stephen L. Colby during the lift phase of salvage operations near LeClaire, Iowa, Dec. 9, 2013. Crews have worked continuously to repair and refloat the vessel since it reportedly struck an unknown submerged object in the Mississippi River channel and sank Nov. 25. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana O'Leary)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1068682/stephen-l-colby-response-crews-commence-lifting-operations#.UqZJFI3QE64#ixzz2n1M4lLek

LECLAIRE, Iowa – Response crews commenced lifting operations of the 154-foot sunken towboat from the Mississippi River bank near LeClaire, Iowa, Monday.

Stephen L. Colby salvage crews worked to cradle and dewater the vessel in an effort to remove extra weight while lifting the towboat. Crews dealt with below freezing conditions and long hours throughout response efforts and continue to conduct pollution mitigation through cleanup operations.

Approximately 39,900 gallons of oily-water mixture has been recovered from the river, 89,000 gallons of oily-water mixture recovered from the Stephen L. Colby, and more than 6,800 cubic feet of oily waste has been collected.

Due to an error in calculations from the initial phases of the response, the oily-water mixture collected from the Mississippi River was previously reported as being approximately 61,970 gallons of oily-water mixture.  The correct amount of oily-water mixture collected from the river is approximately 39,900 gallons.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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