Divers are working to recover a tugboat that sank in New York City's upstate Schoharie Reservoir on Monday, Dec. 19, spilling a small amount of fuel oil into the reservoir.
According to DEP spokesman Adam Bosch, the tugboat was being used for ongoing work on the reservoir's release works, a $142 million construction project that is expected to be completed in 2020.
"We got word around 8:30 yesterday morning that the boat had taken on some water, and that it sunk soon after," Bosch wrote in an email on Tuesday.
The work site where the tugboat was operating was already surrounded by absorbent booms to prevent contamination of the reservoir, Bosch said, so the fuel oil that spilled was contained to the immediate area. A hazmat team is at work cleaning up the spill.
A dive team is working to bring the boat back to the surface by attaching large bladders to the boat that can be inflated with air underwater. The city's DEP police are still investigating the cause of the accident.
At full capacity, the Schoharie Reservoir holds 17.6 billion gallons of New York City drinking water. Currently, the reservoir stands at about 53 percent capacity. Reservoir levels throughout the city's watershed system are lower than normal because of drought earlier in the year.