10/25/2015 06:14 EDT | Updated 10/25/2015 06:59 EDT

Lake Erie Petroleum Leak May Be Coming From 80-Year-Old Sunken Barge

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Coast Guard says contractors will search for the source of what appears to be a petroleum leak coming from a sunken barge found recently in Lake Erie near the U.S.-Canadian border.

Crews are planning to dive around the wreckage Monday to see if they can find and seal the leak.

Shipwreck hunters think the leaking solvent is from a tanker barge that went down during a storm 80 years ago near Ohio's Kelleys Island.

lake erie sunken barge

A sonar image of a sunken barge sitting in Lake Erie.

The Coast Guard said Sunday it appears the leak is a petroleum-based solvent that evaporates quickly once it reaches the surface.

But what they don't know is whether it's an ongoing leak. A Coast Guard helicopter crew sent to the site on Sunday didn't detect any discoloration on the surface.


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