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Press Release | May 19, 2024

UPDATE 2: Unified Command continues response to Pelican Island Bridge Allision

Pelican Island Bridge Allision Response Joint Information Center Office: 409-300-3521 and

T&T Group personnel remove the barge MMLP 321 from beneath the Pelican Island Bridge near Galveston, Texas, May 17, 2024. No additional oil discharged during the barge’s removal. (U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Texas General Land Office) Pollution responders with E3 OMI clean oil off the rocks in the vicinity of Swan Lake near Galveston, Texas, May 17, 2024. After a barge allided with the Pelican Island Bridge on May 15, vacuum gas oil discharged into the Galveston Ship Channel. (U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Texas General Land Office)

Editor's Note: Click on images to download high-resolution version.

GALVESTON, Texas – The Unified Command, consisting of Martin Marine, the Coast Guard and the Texas General Land Office, continues to respond to the incident that occurred Wednesday when a Martin Marine-owned barge allided with the Pelican Island Bridge.

On Friday, T&T Group personnel successfully removed the barge from the bridge. The barge is secured, and no additional oil discharged during the barge’s removal.

The bridge is now open to the public for pedestrian and vehicle traffic with a reduced weight limit in accordance with an assessment by the Texas Department of Transportation and Galveston County Navigation District No. 1.

After removing the barge, clearing debris on the deck and assessing the cargo tanks, responders estimated that approximately 20,000 gallons of vacuum gas oil discharged from the barge as a result of the allision. Following assessments, pollution response activities have concluded in the vicinity of Pelican Island. Swan Lake pollution response continues with crews removing oil and conducting washing of shoreside rocks. Pollution responders with E3 OMI have recovered approximately 22,000 gallons of oily water mixture from the area around Swan Lake.

To date, responders have recovered two deceased, oiled brown pelicans and one deceased, oiled laughing gull from the Swan Lake area. Additionally, responders have sighted up to nine oiled, live birds, also in the vicinity of Swan Lake, but were unable to recover them.

To further protect wildlife, acoustic cannons were placed to provide an audible distraction to shore birds. The public is encouraged to contact the Wildlife Hotline at 832-514-9663 to report any sightings of oiled wildlife.

The Department of State Health Services has not issued a fish consumption advisory or ban as the result of this spill. The impacted area is closed to the harvest of oysters. No shellfish water closures have been reported.

The Unified Command continues to prioritize the safety of the public and first responders, preserving and protecting the environment through effective wildlife deterrence, along with the restoration of the marine environment, transportation and infrastructure for the Pelican Island Bridge.

Media is requested to email or call the Joint Information Center at 409-300-3521.

A claims line has been established at 281-350-9996. 

For more information, follow us on Twitter at @uscgheartland and visit