Navy munitions barge hits rocks near Anacortes WA

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ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) -- The Coast Guard says a barge carrying an estimated 9,000 pounds of munitions has floated free of Belle Rock, near Anacortes, Wash., where it earlier ran aground.

Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier said the 322-foot barge St. Elias ran aground early Monday morning in Rosario Strait about five miles southwest of Anacortes while it was being towed. At mid-afternoon, it floated free. Lanier says his agency and the Washington Ecology Department are working with tug boats to get the barge to a location where divers can further assess its condition.

Lanier says the munitions were bound for a Navy ammunition depot at Indian Island. The munitions appear to be stable and safe.

The Coast Guard has found no evidence of any oil spill or other pollution.