More details are coming out about the partially submerged barge that sank Friday in Picton Bay.
According to Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff, the large barge was coming into Picton Bay carrying large, empty tandem trucks. The trucks were then expected to head off to Picton Terminals to be filled with gravel, reloaded back onto the barge and sent over to Amherst Island, where wind turbines are being built.
When the barge arrived at Picton Terminals, it’s suspected the ice on the way into the Bay acted as sandpaper, wearing down weaker portions of the outside of the barge. This caused a two-foot by two-foot hole in the barge, eventually sinking it partway into the water.
Approximately 30 litres of gasoline did leak, which is not a huge spill. It’s suspected that the fuel came off the top of the barge.
The incident did happen close to water intake pipes, but thankfully for County residents, there has been no real threat to the Picton water supply.
On Sunday, officials will discuss how best to remove the barge from the Bay. Large equipment is available and they believe no problems will occur when attempting to remove it.
Two booms are currently surrounding the barge to manage any potential for leaking fuel.