Tug sinks, barge washes ashore in Nassau

A tug towing a barge near the Robert Moses Causeway bridge sank, and the barge washed up in Atlantic Beach after one person was airlifted to safety. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (Jan. 14, 2014)

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A tug towing a barge from the Robert Moses Causeway bridge sank Monday night and the barge washed up at a Nassau County beach, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday.

No one was injured when the barge, towing sandblasting equipment, washed up at Silver Point County Park in Atlantic Beach, Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Jeff Janaro said.

However, one person was lifted safely from the barge by an NYPD helicopter after it washed ashore.

Janaro said the 125-foot deck barge, owned by Weeks Marine of Cranford, N.J., was being towed by The Pushy, a 26-foot tugboat, about 7:30 p.m. when a 10-foot swell broke the tow line.

Weeks officials did not return a call for comment.

The barge was sent adrift and the tug eventually sank, though another tug, the Susan Miller, responded to help and rescued one person from the tug, the Coast Guard said.

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The tow line break and the exact cause of tug boat's sinking were under investigation, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

Janaro said the barge also was carrying generators for Caribe Construction, which is painting the bridge, when it went adrift.

There is no indication the barge damaged the marine environment, the Coast Guard said.

The barge owners, under Coast Guard supervision, are devising a plan to safely remove the barge, authorities said, and salvage efforts are expected to begin Wednesday.

With Ellen Yan

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