Coast Guard Dive Team to Inspect Sunken Tugboat off Kennebunk

U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard

The Coast Guard was putting together a dive team Saturday to inspect a tugboat that sank Thursday off Kennebunk as it was being towed by the Coast Guard to Portland after it collided with another tugboat.

The divers will also be looking for eight 44-gallon barrels of fuel that were on deck of the Capt. Mackintire, which had also had about 4,400 gallons of fuel in its tank when it went down at about 2 a.m. Thursday. The Capt. Mackintire was being towed by the Coast Guard to Portland when the tug started taking on water and the Coast Guard cut the towline.

The tugboat had been damaged late Wednesday night when it collided with the Helen Louise, another tugboat that was towing the Capt. Mackintire south. Neither of the two crew members on the Helen Louise was hurt. The Capt. Mackintire was unmanned.

Peter Fransson, a Coast Guard public affairs officer, said Saturday he did not know when the divers would start inspecting the tug, which sank in 158 feet of water.

The Coast Guard said anyone who finds barrels in the area should avoid coming in contact with them and report them to the Coast Guard command center at 767-0303.

Six of the plastic barrels are white, one is red and the other is blue. A light was attached to one of the barrels before they sank, to aid in their recovery, Fransson said.

Fransson said an aerial search detected three fuel sheens in the area but the search was unable to verify that the sheens were emanating from the sunken tug. He said the sheens pose no environmental hazard to the shoreline.

The two tugs were en route from Bar Harbor to Annapolis, Maryland, after a stop-off for repairs in Portland. After the collision, the Helen Louise was escorted by the Coast Guard without incident Thursday to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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This article is written by Beth Quimby from Portland Press Herald, Maine and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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