A 477’ oil tanker sustained damage from grounding and allided with three unmanned sailboats Wednesday afternoon at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, near Portsmouth, N.H. and Kittery, Maine.
No injuries or pollution were reported, but the Coast Guard said that the Panamanian-flagged tanker — Ace Tankers’ Chem Venus — sustained damage to its bow from the grounding near Goat Island Ledge. The ship took on water, but flooding was stabilized and monitored by the ship's crew and Coast Guard..
The Coast Guard said that the Chem Venus, which was carrying a load of used vegetable oil and a variety of other industrial chemicals at the time of the incident, is now safely anchored outside of the Piscataqua River with the flooding stabilized.
Salvage divers on Thursday found a 3' by 10' tear in the hull, and the Coast Guard Salvage Engineering Response Team conducted a vessel stability assessment. The vessel owners were expected to submit a salvage plan for Coast Guard approval.
The three sailboats were damaged, the Coast Guard said, but remained afloat. There was no pollution from the incident, and the Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding and allision, said Capt. Michael Baroody, captain of the port for Sector Northern New England.