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Coast Guard: Tugboat sinks off Long Island

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A 26-foot tugboat sank off the south shore of Long Island Monday after losing control of a barge it was towing and now the barge is stuck along the beach, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Jan. 14.

The federal maritime agency said they were notified around 7:30 p.m. on Monday that a tugboat was hit with a large swell off Atlantic Beach and lost control of the 125-foot deck barge that it was hauling. The tugboat sank and the barge was pushed up against the shoreline at Silver Point County Park.

Authorities still don’t know what caused the separate or why the tugboat sank. In a news advisory, Coast Guard officials said they are conducting an investigation and working with the owner of the barge to devise a plan on how to remove it from the beach.

The tugboat and barge were headed to a New York City shipyard when the incident occurred. A work crew had been using the barge to sand blast and paint the Robert Moses Causeway Bridge.

Officials said there was a single person aboard the tugboat when it began to sink Monday evening. An NYPD helicopter was used to rescue them and no injuries were reported.

Lt. Chris Barger, the supervisor of the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Detachment, said his office is investigating the incident.

The Coast Guard said there is no evidence to suggest the incident caused a negative impact to the marine environment.

"After ensuring mariner safety and neutralizing any threats to the waterways, we analyze these mishaps to prevent similar events from occurring in the future,” Barger said.

Officials expect a salvage operation to begin Wednesday.

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