The 600′ tanker vessel Sea Pride allided with the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth, N.H., at approximately 5:30 a.m. Friday, according to the Coast Guard.
The Malta-flagged vessel was outbound from a Piscataqua River facility when it allided with the bridge on its port side, damaging a fender on the bridge. There was no leak on the ship’s double hull, no injuries to the crew, and they continued their journey to Portland, Maine, after contacting the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard investigators completed drug and alcohol testing on the ship’s captain, the harbor pilots and assisting tug boat crews immediately after being notified Friday.
The Sea Pride was carrying ultra-low sulfur diesel. There was no pollution reported.
A 16-foot fender was found by the New Hampshire Marine Patrol, resting against the bridge at the bottom of the channel.
Until the fender is removed, all vessels with a draft of more than 12 feet must contact Coast Guard Sector Northern New England to obtain permission to transit under the Memorial Bridge.
State transportation officials told Fosters Daily Democrat they are are optimistic the span did not sustain structural damage but are awaiting results of an underwater inspection by divers looking for damage below the waterline Tuesday morning.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.