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Tugboat sinks off Atlantic Beach, four rescued

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

A tugboat sank about 3 miles off the coast of Atlantic Beach Wednesday afternoon, authorities said, and four people were taken to a hospital after being rescued as the boat capsized.

U.S. Coast Guard public affairs specialist Alissa Flockerzi said the Coast Guard was notified at about 3 p.m. that the tugboat, the 38-foot Sea Lion, was taking on water. Two boats that were in the area rescued the four people who were aboard the tug, and it sank at 4:11 p.m., Flockerzi said.

One of the four people aboard the Sea Lion had serious injuries, she said. Nassau police said one of the victims had been complaining of chest pain. All four were medically evacuated by the Coast Guard, Flockerzi said.

On Monday night, a tug towing a barge from the Robert Moses Causeway bridge sank and the barge washed up at a Nassau County beach. 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 Tuesday.

The tug was separated from the barge when a 10-foot swell broke the tow line. The tow line break and the exact cause of tugboat's sinking were under investigation, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

With Gary Dymski

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