Propane tank taken from CT River, photo courtesy USCG.

Propane tank taken from CT River, photo courtesy USCG.

The Coast Guard, along with federal, state, and local partners found and removed a large propane tank from the Connecticut River.

The Coast Guard was notified Wednesday, January 15, of a large (approximately 1,000-gallon) propane tank floating down the Connecticut River in the vicinity of Middletown. Coast Guard pollution responders, along with Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection personnel, searched along the banks of the Connecticut River Wednesday night and Thursday with no sightings of the tank. Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft also searched the area.

On Friday, during a training flight, a Connecticut Army National Guard helicopter located the tank on Haddam Island, and notified the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard pollution responders went to Haddam to investigate and work with Haddam Volunteer Fire Department to conduct a preliminary on-scene assessment. Based on their input, the Coast Guard utilized contracted response personnel from Moran Environmental Recovery, LLC to get the tank removed from the island and safely to shore. The Higganum Police Department monitored the tank through the night until its removal by Moran Environmental Recovery personnel, Saturday.

“Judging by the location of where the tank was found, it would have been difficult for Coast Guard personnel on shore to locate it as quickly,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Jonathan Theel, chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “I’m very grateful that the Army National Guard had a helicopter in the air that day and were able to devote some flying time to locating the tank along the river” he said.

The Coast Guard contacted the company that owns the tank, who said the tank had been missing since Hurricane Irene in 2011. There does not appear to be any negative environmental impact as a result of the tank being in the water.


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