Sunken Towboat Update

December  17, 2013

      The towboat that sank in LeClaire last month is now in dry-dock where repairs have started. The Stephen L Colby arrived in Wood River Illinois, near Saint Louis on Monday, after a five-day trip down-river from the Quad Cities. Coast Guard Lieutenant Colin Fogarty says when the boat was lifted out of the water, they found more damage than initially detected. 

      "There were a few small holes alon gthe middle of the vessel. that allowed water to leak in, however wee were able to insure tha no oil or water leaked out during that time."

      Fogarty says next workers will try to make the vessell safe for permanent repairs by eliminating any flammable gases and other materials. And it could take several months or longer before the Colby is ready to return to the Mississippi River.  

      It sank in LeClaire on November 25th after hitting something in the river. Then after two weeks of work, it was raised, and towed down river. 

      Fogarty says the Coast Guard and state agencies will return in the spring to find out what, if any, environmental damage was caused by fuel and oil leaking from the Colby while it was in LeClaire.