NEW CASTLE, N.H. — A barge that sank Saturday night off the coast of Kittery Point Yacht Club has surfaced Sunday evening after Pepperrell Cove Marine diving crews worked tirelessly to repair the damaged vessel and float it to the surface.
Petty Officer Matt Strickland, out of the Coast Guard’s Sector Northern New England, said that the damage, which was repaired by the dive crews with a patch, was sustained after the barge struck something unknown under the water’s surface.
The Pepperrell Cove Marine barge, carrying a crane and 100 gallons of diesel fuel, began taking on water at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday as it transited up the Piscataqua River to Eliot, Maine.
Strickland said there was one person aboard at the time, the barge operator, who escaped unharmed on a Coast Guard boat.
Petty Officer Ryan Smith said Saturday night that a prevention team was on scene in the event that a spill occurred. However, the fuel tanks remained intact.
“All of the pollution was contained and there was no leakage,” said Strickland. He explained that there was some sheen on the surface of the water but that it came from the deck of the barge and was not part of a spill. He said the pollution that did appear in the water was not only contained but also cleaned up.
Strickland said the barge is being taken to Patten’s Yacht Yard where it will be repaired. As of 8 p.m. Sunday evening the barge remained in the water, though Strickland said then that crews planned to pull it out later in the evening.
Distributed by MCT Information Services