Fuel to be removed from sinking boat near Hilton Head

tbarton@islandpacket.comJanuary 17, 2014 

Diesel fuel remains on a sinking shrimp boat near Hilton Head Island, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard has monitored the Christina Leigh for spills of environmentally hazardous materials since it ran aground on a sandbar after taking on water Jan. 11 near Calibogue Sound.

"As of now, no fuel is leaking from the boat," Lt. Brandon Guldseth of Coast Guard Sector Charleston said Friday afternoon.

Kemp Toomer, former owner and captain of the Christina Leigh Shrimp Co. on Tybee Island, said he had removed some of the 280 gallons of diesel fuel Friday and intended to return Saturday to remove more.

"It is contained," Toomer said of the boat's fuel and oil, "but the boat is breaking up. It's a permanent wreck. The stern's gone off of it."


As for the two abandoned shrimp boats in Jarvis Creek on Hilton Head, the town awaits the return of a signed contract from a contractor selected to remove the vessels. The contractor, which has not been publicly identified, has 10 days to respond, town public projects and facilities director Scott Liggett said.

The town plans to spend $175,000 to remove the boats that became stuck Aug. 14. Work would begin in early to mid-February and last 40 days, if the contractor agrees to the contract and satisfies other requirements, Liggett said.

The contractor would float equipment on a barge into the creek, dismantle the boats and haul away sections on a separate barge, Liggett said.

"We don't anticipate the boats can be salvaged," he said.

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/IPBG_Tom.

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