SARNIA, Ont. -- The Canadian Coast Guard is patrolling a portion of lower Lake Huron to help its U.S. counterpart in the cleanup of a fuel leak from a barge and tugboat which sank in the area.

The U.S. Coast Guard says air crews spotted an oil sheen on Saturday during salvage operations for a barge and tugboat that sank Thursday in rough weather.

The vessels went down about one and a half kilometres from Lakeport, Mich., releasing some of the fuel on board.

U.S. coast guard crews welded a steel plate over a hole in the side of the tug and raised it on Saturday, but efforts continued Sunday to raise the barge.

The Canadian Coast Guard said the spill remained in U.S. waters and wasn't expected to float onto the Canadian side. Commercial vessel traffic is not affected.

A Canadian Coast Guard ship is patrolling lower Lake Huron to keep a lookout for pollution and to keep the area safe for U.S. cleanup crews.

A Transport Canada surveillance aircraft is monitoring the area for pollution as well.

The coast guard is asking any pollution sightings to be reported to Sarnia Coast Guard Radio.