WWII-Era Tug Sinks After Colliding With Tug

The Capt. Mackintire under tow, February 21 (DVIDS / USCG)

By The Maritime Executive 02-23-2018 09:34:00

On Thursday, the World War II-era Army tug Capt. Mackintire went down off Maine after colliding with the tug Helen Louise during a fuel transfer. 

The 40-foot Helen Louise had the 80-foot Mackintire in tow, and was bound for Annapolis, Maryland. The Mackintire was unmanned and did not have working propulsion, local media reported. According to the Coast Guard, the Louise came alongside the Mackintire to take on fuel on Wednesday, and the two tugs collided. Conditions were mild at the time of the accident, with swells of six feet and winds at 12 knots. 

After the collision, the Louise notified the Coast Guard, which dispatched the 87-foot patrol boat Reef Shark to assist. The Reef Shark took the Mackintire in tow and got under way for Portland, Maine. However, the Mackintire began taking on water, and ultimately the crew of the Reef Shark had to release the tow. The tug went down about three miles off Kennebunk, Maine. 

No one was injured in the collision or sinking, and the Coast Guard is assessing the extent of any pollution potential. The Mackintire is believed to have about 4,000 gallons of fuel on board. 

The Mackintire was built in Pensacola, Florida in 1944 for the U.S. Army. The 750-hp tug entered civilian service the next year, and she worked for a series of commercial operators until 2014.