A 26' tug lost control of the barge it was towing off Atlantic Beach, N.Y., Monday evening. The tug sank and the barge ran aground.
The Coast Guard was notified at 7:35 p.m. on Monday that the towing vessel Pushy had lost control of the 125' deck barge Weeks 236 it was towing following an interaction with a large swell off of Atlantic Beach, N.Y. After the tug and deck barge separated, the tug sank and the barge was pushed up onto the beach at Silver Point County Park, where its owners, Weeks Marine, Cranston, N.J., under Coast Guard supervision, began devising a plan to safely remove the barge. The exact cause of the separation and the sinking of the tug are under investigation.
There was one mariner aboard the barge at the time of the incident and he was safely removed by a New York Police helicopter. Three other mariners who were aboard the tug Pushy were transported to safety by an additional tug on scene. No injuries were reported. The towing vessel and deck barge were on their way to the Weeks Marine shipyard in Jersey City, N.J., after leaving a job site on the Robert Moses Causeway Bridge where the barge was being used to sand blast and paint the bridge.
There is no evidence so far that the grounding of the barge, which was carrying construction equipment, had any negative effect on the marine environment.