Photos: Second Tug Sinks Near Tappan Zee Bridge
On Thursday, the small pusher tug Potomac went down near the Tappan Zee Bridge construction site on the Hudson River. It is the second sinking in the vicinity of the bridge so far this year.
Local assets including the Piermont dive team and the county sheriff's department were the first responders. The two crewmembers had already escaped unharmed onto the tug's barge tow by the time rescuers reached the scene.
The vessel's tanks contain 1,500 gallons of diesel, and it is not yet clear whether any pollution has resulted from the incident. Tappan Zee Constructors, the contractor for the new bridge project, has deployed a containment boom around the submerged vessel as a precautionary measure.
Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco told the Poughkeepsie Journal that the tug hit a cable securing a construction barge and got stuck. "We don't know yet what damaged the boat but, whatever happened, it made the boat sink," he said.
Authorities have asked for any parties with information to contact the Coast Guard Sector New York, the lead agency in the ongoing investigation.
"This incident is very troubling," said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. "We expect a full investigation into the causes of this crash. We want assurances that all safety precautions are being taken as the new Tappan Zee Bridge is built."
Work on the new Tappan Zee Bridge continued uninterrupted.
The earlier tug incident at the bridge site led to three fatalities when the small towing vessel Specialist went down after striking a stationary construction barge. She was one of three tugs maneuvering a barge under the bridge at the time of impact, and authorities are looking into reports that the master of the Specialist was on watch on one of the other vessels during the incident.