Oil Tanker Runs Aground

Friday, July 13th 2007, 7:18 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ A tanker carrying about 23 million gallons of diesel oil ran aground Thursday morning off New York City's Coney Island. No oil spill or injuries were reported.

Something went wrong with the steering system on the ship White Sea around 6:30 a.m., causing it to turn off course and run into the sandy bottom of a channel, said Coast Guard spokesman Chief Bob Laura.

The tanker, between New York's Coney Island and Sandy Hook National Park in New Jersey, deployed a boom to contain any spills, Laura said.

The Coast Guard was lightening the vessel's load on Thursday, a task that would take about 12 hours. The ship was expected to be nudged off the sand Friday during high tide around 8 p.m. Divers planned to check the hull to make sure it was not damaged, and the vessel would be inspected before it would be allowed to leave, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard set up a security zone around the vessel, but shipping traffic was not blocked, Laura said.

The tanker was managed by Tanker Pacific Management, which is based in Singapore. Tanker Pacific officials said they were cooperating with the Coast Guard to re-float the ship.

Capt. Satish Dhawde, who was at the helm of the vessel, has been at sea for 17 years and has commanded oceangoing oil tankers for five.