Tug Runs Aground - Buzzards Bay

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

U.S. Coast Guard crews helped a Boston-based tug crew on Nov. 9 after they grounded their vessel near Buzzards Bay, Mass., around 1 p.m.

No injuries were reported of the three crewmembers aboard the tug Southern Cross.

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England received a radio call from the tug reporting that the engine room was flooding and could not be controlled. The crew said they planned to beach the vessel to keep it from sinking.

A Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew launched from Air Station Cape Cod while a 47-foot boat crew launched from Coast Guard Station Menemsha to help the crew of the 82-foot vessel.

Rescue crews arrived on scene at 1:50 p.m., to find the tug aground near Barney Joy Point, off Dartmouth, Mass.

The 47-foot boat crew took the Southern Cross crew aboard as the grounded tug started to list.

The tug reportedly has about 1,500 gallons of fuel aboard and about 110 gallons of oily water in the vessel’s bilge, but the tug cannot be boomed off yet due to weather conditions.

A Coast Guard investigator is on scene conducting a preliminary investigation and a 41-foot boat crew from Coast Guard Station Woods Hole is on scene enforcing a safety zone around the tug.

Drug and alcohol testing has been ordered for the crew of the Southern Cross.

Seas are about three to four feet with winds around 30 miles per hour.

The Dartmouth Harbor Master and a Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew also responded to the initial call.

“Our biggest concern at this point is the potential for pollution,” said John Harland, the search and rescue controller working the case from Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England. “We are working with the tug’s owner to arrange a salvage plan.”  

(Source: U.S. Coast Guard)

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