The boat was located on an embankment on the Tennessee River adjacent to the Cargill company grain elevator and North of CSX railroad.
Officials said there were possibly 4,000 gallons of fuel on board, most of which leaked into the water. Divers were called in to seal the source of the leak. "It's lighter than water, so it's going to float on top," said Chris Snyder with the U.S. Coast Guard. "Basically, that boom will keep it in one area."
The spill was contained in a small area. It was believed the fuel did not enter the main river course.
The total area contaminated was about 300 yards by 300 yards.
A company from Paducah, Kentucky was called in to help clean up the spill. The U.S. Coast guard was also called in to assist.
The spill was contained by booms around 11 a.m. A drum skimmer was also brought in to suck the oil up out of the water.
Officials were still working to determine what caused the tug boat to sink. They said the boat usually pushed titanium ore about five miles up and down the river.
Crews were unsure about how to get the boat out of the water.