Pinhole-sized leak plugged on sunken barge in Lake Erie

Nov 7, 2015

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard says divers in Lake Erie have found and plugged a pinhole-sized leak on a sunken barge near where an oil-based substance has been spotted in recent weeks.

A side scan sonar image of the wreck. Tom Kowalczk with the Cleveland Underwater Explorers discovered this tank barge in August 2015.
Credit Tom Kowalczk

The Coast Guard says there appeared to be a colorless liquid coming from the tiny leak.

Crews have been monitoring the site near the U.S.-Canadian border since discovering a sheen on the surface late last month.

The substance is believed to be coming from the barge that sank in 1937 and is on a federal registry of the most serious pollution threats to U.S. waters.

Divers found the small leak on Wednesday and have been taking sediment samples around the wreckage. The Coast Guard also is trying to determine what hazardous cargo might still be on board the barge.