Ship backlog in Houston Channel falling - Houston Pilots

HOUSTON, March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:57pm EDT

HOUSTON, March 26 (Reuters) - The backlog of ships waiting to sail in or out of the Houston Ship Channel fell on Wednesday as officials cleaned a fuel oil spill in Galveston Bay, the head of the Houston Pilots said on Wednesday.

Capt. Clint Winegar said the number of ships waiting to move in or out of the channel slid by 30 to 57 by Wednesday afternoon.

He said the backlog was expected to fall to 35 ships by midnight CDT, when the U.S. Coast Guard will stop all movement until daylight on Thursday.

The daylight restriction was stretched, as ship movements stopped at about 6 p.m. CDT on Tuesday.

The channel was shut on Saturday after an barge carrying thick fuel oil collided with a cargo ship, spilling about 4,000 barrels. (Reporting By Kristen Hays)

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