The intact hull of the tugboat Specialist and body of a third crewman were recovered Thursday near New York’s Tappan Zee bridge, where the vessel lay since a March 12 allision with an anchored construction barge.
The barge crane Chesapeake 1000 hoisted the 84’ Specialist from the river bottom 40’ deep, and put it on a barge for transport to a storage facility where Coast Guard investigators can examine it. Donjon Marine Co., Inc., Hillside, N.J. was hired to bring in the 190’x101’x20’ barge crane, one of the world’s most capable.
Inside the tug was the body of Harry Hernandez, 56, of Staten Island, N.Y., who died with crewmates Paul Amon, 62, of Bayville, N.J., and Timothy Conklin, 29, of Westbury, N.Y. Police divers had located the body inside the tug but were unable to make a recovery because of current and debris conditions.
County officials prepare for press conference on tugboat salvage. pic.twitter.com/OiXiji8t9C
— Matt Spillane (@MattSpillane) March 24, 2016
The tugboat had been part of a three-tug barge push by New York Marine Towing Inc. when the Specialist’s starboard side hit the construction barge, where a new New York Thruway bridge is being built. The tugboats were headed south on the river, and radio transmissions indicated the crews realized too late that they needed to move to the left to avoid the anchored barge, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
A preliminary report investigating the cause of the sinking is expected next week.