Sunken Tugboat Successfully Salvaged from St. Marys River [Photos]
U.S. Coast Guard reports there was no environmental impact
The Coast Guard oversaw the response and salvage Wednesday afternoon as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers successfully refloated the tug Hammond Bay, which sank in the St. Marys River Monday morning.
The cause of the sinking of the tug is unknown and under investigation.
The tug was lifted out of the water by the crane barge Harvey as traffic along the St. Marys River remained open. However, the Coast Guard continually enforced a 500-foot safety zone until the Hammond Bay had been successfully refloated.
After being refloated and dewatered, the Hammond Bay was towed to Sault Ste Marie for repairs.
"The successful refloating of the Hammond Bay was a great example of the value of a continued partnership between the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers," said Cmdr. Nicholas Wong, chief of prevention at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie. “Strong communication between the two organizations resulted in a successful operation that caused minimal impact to the waterway and its users. Although there were no pollution hazards, the Coast Guard was ready to respond if needed."
A Canadian official was also on scene during the salvage operation as part of the Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan. This plan ensures there is an effective joint U.S./Canada coordinated response during cross-border pollution incidents.
The salvage operation took about four hours to complete.