- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

LECLAIRE, Iowa (AP) - The Coast Guard is blaming an underwater rock for the sinking of a towboat in the Mississippi River near LeClaire last November.

The Quad-City Times reports (https://bit.ly/1edPvCp ) Coast Guard Lt. Cody Stitz confirmed Thursday that the underside of the Stephen L. Colby towboat hit a rock on Nov. 25, leaving it with a hole about 30 inches long and 12 inches wide.

Officials had earlier declined to speculate on a cause of the sinking, which spilled some of the 91,000 gallons of petroleum products aboard the vessel.

A crew collected 39,900 gallons of oily water over two weeks amid frigid and gusty conditions.

The spill apparently caused little harm to wildlife.

Workers patched up the boat and towed it to a repair facility in Wood River, Ill.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com

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