U.S. Coast Guard Report Cites Captain Error in 2012 Tugboat Sinking in Portsmouth Maine

Posted in Maine Maritime News,Maritime Accidents,Tug Boat Accidents,US Coast Guard (USCG) on March 8, 2013

PORTSMOUTH. ME. — The U.S. Coast Guard released a report to Foster’s Daily Democrat on February 28, 2013, detailing the sinking of the Benjamin Bailey, the tugboat that capsized on October 24, 2012 in Portsmouth. The report cited human error, stating that the captain failed to maneuver the ship into a new position after high tide.

Photo shows the sinking of the Benjamin Bailey on Oct. 24, 2012 in Portsmouth, Maine.

On October 24, 2012, the Benjamin Bailey tugboat working on the Memorial Bridge replacement project on the Piscataqua River in Maine, capsized and sank after being pinned against a barge in the strong current.

Two crew members who were on board the tug, climbed through a window and jumped onto the barge on which it was pinned. Both men were not injured in the incident.

The vessel was eventually floated to the surface of the river and returned to Eliot, Maine, for a salvage attempt, after crews worked for several days to recover it.

According to the report, the U.S. Coast Guard is considering a potential enforcement action against the tugboat operator whose vessel sank at the Memorial Bridge construction site last year, spilling diesel fuel into the Piscataqua River. The Benjamin Bailey is owned by Ken Anderson of Riverside & Pickering Marine Contractors of Maine.

Blog post by tugboat injury lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP