PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – Seacoastonline.com has some great coverage of a
near disaster that happened yesterday when the Seaward Marine towboat Miss Stacy got caught up in the strong
Piscataqua River current and became lodged beneath the Memorial Bridge as it
assisted in dismantling operations.
According to reporter Charles McMahon, “Assistant Portsmouth
Fire Chief Steve Achilles said the tugboat was moving a barge beneath the
bridge when it got turned around by the current and became lodged underneath
The Miss Stacy began taking on water, and was near to
capsizing, before the Moran Towing
tug Eugenia Moran was able to free the Miss Stacy from the rapid current and
bring her to safety at the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co.,
a popular local cruise ship operator.
The entire incident lasted about an hour.
Luckily for us, a video crew was on site taking HD
video for a piece on the restoration of the World War I memorial that’s part of
the Memorial Bridge and was able to turn cameras on the Miss Stacy and the
rescue effort. Take a look:
The Eugenia Moran is one of four tugboats that Moran operates
in the Portsmouth area. It’s a
single-screw 2,875-hp vessel. The Miss Stacy is reportedly owned and operated
by Seaward Marine, and
Seacoastonline.com quotes president Michael Trautman as saying the two crewmembers and the boat will both be fine, but we couldn’t find any other
information on the vessel.
Also responding to the scene was the Portsmouth fireboat Fire Boat 1 (aka Sagamore),
of which you can see a lot of great pictures from Britt Crosby here.
It was delivered in 2006, built by MetalCraft
Marine, a Firestorm-30 model. It’s 33’5” in length, powered by two 380-hp Cummins diesel engines, and capable of
more than 1,500 gpm.
In another interesting aside, New Hampsire Republican
congressman Rank Guinta was aboard the Eugenia Moran when it was forced into
rescue operations. According to reporter Joey Cresta and a slightly tongue-in-cheek report from The Hill,
Rep. Guinta was getting a look at Port of New Hampshire operations and their
impact on the economy after having participated in a Coast Guard award ceremony
earlier in the day, when the Miss Stacy got into trouble.
“Guinta, R-N.H., said he was talking with Capt. Chris Holt
about the dangers of the Piscataqua River current when Coast Guard calls came
over the radio regarding a tugboat taking on water after getting stuck under
the bridge,” Cresta reports.