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The State

December 18, 1987

Two tanker men flown by helicopter to a leaking barge repaired a broken hatch, enabling the oil-laden vessel to resume its voyage from Santa Barbara to a Benicia refinery with most of its cargo intact. The 300-foot barge, carrying 2.3 million gallons of oil in 14 separate tanks, began to leak 40 miles south of the Golden Gate in rough seas, the Coast Guard said. The leak was caused when a metal rope box lashed to the deck was jarred loose by the violent tossing of the barge, owned by Pacific Service Marin, in churning eight-foot seas. The heavy box slid down the deck and popped open a bolted hatch that opens into the No. 5 starboard oil tank. The tank contained 176,000 gallons of crude oil. It was not known exactly how much oil splashed out of the six-inch opening.

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