Five people were evacuated from an oil platform off of Seal Beach on Monday after an unloaded lumber barge broke free from its anchorage near Island Chaffee off the coast of Long Beach and was moving in their direction, Long Beach fire officials said.
Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) personnel received a call for help at 11:07AM and arrived on scene at 11:15AM, on Monday, November 16, according to LBFD spokesman Jake Heflin.
Authorities said the 400-by-100 foot barge broke free from its anchorage inside the breakwater, which was just south of Island Chaffee, an oil island.
Fearing the barge would come into contact with Island Esther—an oil platform in Seal Beach—an LBFD fire boat was able to push the barge against the swell and slow down its path.
Five people on the platform were evacuated as a precaution, Heflin said.
The barge was eventually pulled back to its anchorage by three private tugs and fire officials cleared the incident by 12:03PM.
The rescue effort was coordinated by the Coast Guard because of the size of the flat boat. Two Los Angeles City Fire Department boats were initially en route to the location but were not needed in the end, Heflin said.
Photo by Keeley Smith.