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Near miss: tug carrying 8 million gallons of diesel loses propulsion near San Juans

From the Dept. of Ecology

The state Department of Ecology (Ecology) and U.S. Coast Guard monitored the 170-meter tug and barge "Commitment" that lost propulsion and went adrift shortly after 1 p.m. on July 28 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca about 19 miles northwest of Port Angeles, posing the risk of an oil spill.

The "Commitment," owned by Crowley Maritime Corp. is part of a connected tug and barge combination. The tug was pushing a fuel barge containing about eight million gallons of diesel and jet fuel toward Portland when it lost propulsion. The tug itself is carrying more than 100,000 gallons of fuel.

Crowley Maritime called for the tug "Jeffrey Foss," the industry-funded emergency response towing vessel stationed at Neah Bay, to assist the barge and prevent an oil spill.

The "Commitment" regained power and propulsion just before 5 p.m. It is now in Port Angeles, where it will be inspected by USCG and Ecology vessel inspectors. The cause of the power outage and propulsion loss remains under investigation.

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