Mud Impedes Intrepid Tow

Monday, November 06, 2006
McAllister tugs, in addition to a Bouchard tug, helped to pull the Intrepid from pier 86. Photo Credit: Mark O'Malley

Despite the efforts of seven tugs with a combined hp of 30,000, the Intrepid, a 27,000 ton NYC landmark, still remains at pier 86 in the Hudson River.

After a ceremony attended by elected officials and several dignitaries, the Intrepid was scheduled to be pulled from its berth at 9:15 on Monday morning by the Christine McAllister, the lead tug in the McAllister towing operation, and four assisting tractor tugs. The towing operation was scheduled to coincide with one of the highest tides of the year, hoping to add an additional clearance to pull the vessel from its berth. According to McAllister Towing, with the initial pull from the Christine and assisting tugs, the Intrepid moved approximately 10-12 ft. before it grounded.

Captain A.J. McAllister, a veteran of the generations-old towing company, speculated that the issue might be the propellers stuck in the mud, creating a locked position. McAllister said that there were earlier surveying and diving efforts prior to the towing operation. Areas around the hull were dredged in preparation for the tow, but the mud toward the stern of the ship created a complication that could push back the plans for the two year, $60m restoration efforts at Bayonne Drydock—at least until further notice. A.J. McAllister said that there needs to be more engineering, or dredging, under the ship.

At about 10:30, the tide had began to fall and the tugs were called off as the conditions became less favorable. The McAllister Towing Company said that a diving team would aid in reassessing the towing operation and plans to move the vessel.

Once the plan is refigured, the Intrepid will undergo a refurbishment at Bayonne Drydock that will include the modification of interior spaces, an internal exhibition upgrades, as well as a new paint job.

Jennifer Rabulan

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