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A Foss Maritime tug wrangles a breakaway barge in Elliot Bay, near downtown Seattle, Washington, November 2, 2023. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

A Foss Maritime tug wrangles a breakaway barge in Elliot Bay, near downtown Seattle, Washington, November 2, 2023. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

Breakaway Barge Damages Pier in Downtown Seattle

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 8880
November 2, 2023

A breakaway barge loaded with containers has damaged a pier along Seattle’s downtown waterfront.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s 13th District said it was notified at 1:25 p.m. of a barge that drifted from the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 18 and struck Pier 66, causing some damage.

Pier 66 is located in Seattle’s downtown waterfront and is home to the Bell Street Cruise Terminal and a small recreational marina.

The Coast Guard said three tug boats were able to gain control of the barge and it was towed to Terminal 115.

The Coast Guard said there were no reported injuries or pollution, but the pier was damaged.

Video posted on social media shows a local water taxi apparently attempting to push the barge.

Obviously it was no match for the barge and it ultimately crashed into the pier.

Some nearby buildings including the Seattle Aquarium were apparently evacuated as a precaution.

One eyewitness said the incident could have been worse if it wasn’t for the taxi. “The water taxi is maybe one of the only reasons this didn’t hit the aquarium,” one user wrote.

One of the tugs involved in the rescue is Foss Maritime’s Wedell Foss, a harbor ship assist tug in the Pacific Northwest. It is a Voith/Z-Drive Tractor tug featuring 4,7000 horsepower and 57 tons of bollard pull.

The barge appears to belong to Alaska Marine Lines, a barge service provider between Seattle and Alaska and Hawaii.

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