Crews continue to work to remove a sunken towboat from the Mississippi before the weather turns sour.
The U.S. Coast Guard tells CBS4 that operations continued late into Tuesday night as divers work to weld and patch damage to the Stephen L. Colby.
PA1 Mariana O'Leary says that a 30 inch by 12 inch hole was ripped in the bottom of the tow but investigators still don't know what caused it.
They are working to seal doors and windows on the tow and removing small amounts of oil that escape from the wreck. Petty Officer O'Leary says that the two ducks recovered from the river did not die of oil exposure. A vet determined that both ducks had been shot, probably during the recent hunting season, and were already in bad shape before they were found.
After the Colby is certified okay to be towed it will be removed to a repair facility out of our area.
For more than a week, crews have been working to get a stranded towboat out of the Mississippi River near LeClaire, Iowa.
The Coast Guard is continuing their efforts to move that boat safely.
They are in the process of emptying water out of the fuel tanks.
Slowly but surely crews are lifting the back of the Stephen L. Colby towboat.
They want to make it float again, so they can move it.
"We don't want to release any more fuel into the water, and we want to make sure that it's done correctly the first time," said Lt. Kody Stitz, with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Nearly 150,000 gallons of the oily water has been recovered from the river and the towboat.
It's a race against the clock to get the work done because of cold weather.
"We have concerns about the river freezing, and in addition to that just like anyone else it's extremely cold out here so we're going to be dealing with cold responders."
Pollution Biologist Mike Coffey is monitoring the situation and said removing the vessel is also a matter of life or death for wildlife.
"They removed a lot more oil from behind the booms, and that's causing the threat for wildlife to go way down."
Coffey said so far, two mallards were found dead from that fuel seepage.
He's keeping an eye on other animals who may get into harms way.
"Between the light, and generators, and the vessels moving around, that's keeping the wild birds away from the area."
The coast guard said it could still be up to 5 days before they're able to move the towboat.
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