Views of the Neighborhood – Oil Spill

Oil Spill

When it rains it pours they say. On October 19th a barge filled with crude oil had an explosion three miles off the Port Aransas coast. The picture above was taken by the Coast Guard. Before the fire and resultant leakage of oil were contained approximately 2000 barrels out of the 133,000 barrels on board leaked into the gulf. So three weeks after Hhurricane Harvey we also were challenged with oil on the beach. Sadly two of the eight crew members went missing, and only one body has been found. I did not report this sooner as there were other positive things to see in Port Aransas.  My reason for publishing it now is the Texas Land and Cattle company responded quickly and got most of the oil picked up in a matter of days, so it ended quite well. Few sea creatures and birds were affected as well.

Oil clean up

Here is a long-range shot of clean up crews working the beach.

Oil spill

It is interesting the way they draw circles around the oil and then shovel and rake it up.

The oil goes into plastic bags, This crew is working South.

A view to the North shows another crew working their way South as well.

Oil Spill

A crew member picking up bags.

A view to the South again. The oil rides on the tide, and you can see in this shot the tide is high, so the oil is high on the beach.

Oil spill

This photo was taken yesterday, and you can see quarter-sized chunks of oil now solidified into tar.



  1. That was terrible, John especially for the families of the men killed in the accident. It’s great it was so thoroughly cleaned up and didn’t do more damage. Good photos. —- Suzanne

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. 🙂

  2. Gwen Plano · ·

    It’s so sad to hear that two men lost their lives, and yet it is heartwarming how the oil company responded to the tragedy. I wonder if the hurricane led to this catastrophe in some way by weakening the structure. Thank you for sharing this with us, John, and inviting us into your world. Have a great day.

    1. I don’t think they know yet the cause of the accident. I know they were bringing the anchor in so it may have caused a spark or something.

  3. John, I was scared half to death when I saw your headline. I’m relieved that they were so quick and efficient with the cleanup. I enjoyed seeing their process, via your photos and commentary. It really was interesting. Fair winds and following seas, my friend. And hugs!

    1. Thank you, Teagan. Hugs right back.

  4. It’s always sad to read about accidents. The cost, in lives and in response is an unfortunate expense of our times. Very sad for the people affected and very grateful to the team members who respond.

    1. Yes we are. The Texas Land and Cattle Company takes spills very seriously. Thanks, Dan.

  5. I heard about this on the news. How sad for those two men. It’s good to know the oil company responded promptly. Happy Sunday!

    1. thanks, Jill. Happy Sunday to you as well.

  6. Amazing how quickly they can clean that up. Sorry about the two missing.

    1. Thanks. They found one the other still out there somewhere.

  7. Good morning, John,
    I’m sorry to hear/read about that, and I don’t know what really to think: should we be happy that it wasn’t a worse oil spill, and that not many creatures were affected? But I’m sure glad it could be contained quickly and that the beach could be cleaned up fairly quickly and fairly well. That again makes me think: are the high tides good in this case, because then the oil can be scooped up from/with the sand more easily? Or would it be better if it didn’t reach the beach at all?
    Well, I wish there were no oil spills at all so that all these questions would be theoretical only.
    Have a wonderful Sunday,

  8. Never rains but it pours… 😦 Oil on the sea or the beach is bad news all round. The clean-up team obviously did a grand job 😀 Tweeting this to spread the lesson 😉

  9. A jolly good show that they cleaned all the spilled oil up so quickly, John. These sorts of accidents are a terrible shame.

  10. Terrible, John. I enjoyed reading how the clean-up crew works to do the job. Very interesting.

  11. So sad when a beautiful place is damaged by humans. Amazing how the cleanup crews work and the circles are interesting. I’m sure there’s a reason. Hope it’s all back to its original beauty soon!

  12. Sad to read this. You guys could sure use a break.

    1. Thank you for the reblog, Michael

      1. Thank you for posting. Its always a pleasure to re-blog. Have a good week. 😉 Michael

  13. Texas has not been having a good year. I feel bad for the families of those men.

    1. I do too. They were just doing their jobs.

  14. One mess right after another. I’m impressed at how quickly the crews were able to get the spill cleaned up from the beach.

    1. They did work quickly. Pirates on our island pretty much demand quick cleanups.

  15. Horrible, sad news about the two deaths, but impressive at the efforts at cleanup.

    1. I agree, Teri. Thanks.

  16. Thank goodness they responded so quickly John.. no doubt very aware of the law suits that would be filed if they didn’t. I hope the bird sanctuary is getting back in shape and that the rest of Port Aransas is coming back to life. hugs xx

    1. We just got a report that there were no losses as a result of the Hurricane. All seems to be okay.

  17. Good documentation of the clean-up. It could have been worse on top of everything else.

    1. It could have. Thank heavens it wasn’t. Thanks, Jo.

  18. Bummer news … and as if the town residents don’t have enough on their mind! Cheers to fast action. Hoping beauty endures.

    1. It is looking pretty good. When the stuff first arrived on the beach it looked just like motor oil. It caught everyone by surprise since it landed so quickly.

  19. So much sadness spread over such a short time. Thanks for sharing your photos of the cleanup.

    1. Thanks, Michelle.

  20. So glad this wasn’t any worse, though it must be awful for the families of the crew. I hate when the beauty of nature is marred by accidents like this, but realistically, I suppose it’s impossible to prevent everything bad that could happen.

    1. Bad happens. Sometimes like this, an accident. Sometimes not. 🙂

  21. So sorry to hear this news, John. And the loss of life as well. It looks as if the authorities have made a great job of cleaning it all up. Sounds to me as if they went into action very quickly.

    1. They did. Those guys are good.

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