Grounded barge removed from Atlantic Beach

A person sits on the top of the

A person sits on the top of the bow of a sinking tug boat two miles south of Atlantic Beach. (Jan. 15, 2013) (Credit: Bjoern Kils New York Media Boat)

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A beached barge, grounded on Atlantic Beach after breaking loose from a tug boat earlier this week, has been repaired and refloated, the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday.

The 125-foot barge, owned and operated by Weeks Marine of Cranford, N.J., had been loaded with sandblasting equipment used to refinish the Robert Moses Causeway bridge, when a 10-foot swell broke a towline to its tug, the Pushy, at about 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Officials said the 26-foot tug eventually sank.

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The barge washed ashore at Silver Point County Park, part of Nassau's Atlantic Beach, Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Jeff Janaro said. No one was injured in the grounding. One person needed to be lifted to safety by an NYPD helicopter.

The Coast Guard said the barge was refloated at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday by Weeks, using a plan approved by the Guard.

Before the operation, officials said crews removed equipment from the deck and then excavated the perimeter beach, allowing the barge to be refloated by the incoming tide.

Minor repairs also were made to the barge's hull.

Officials said the barge was towed without incident to the Union Dry Dock in Hoboken, N.J. Coast Guard marine inspectors from the Marine Safety Detachment in Coram said there was no evidence of pollution or environmental damage as a result of the grounding.

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