U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations crews rescued four people from the 70-foot tugboat Sea Eagle and a barge it was towing after they ran aground on beach near Boca Raton, Florida, on Thursday.
The Sea Eagle’s crew sent out a mayday call on Thursday at about 8:45 p.m. reporting they were in distress and taking on water with four people aboard.
CBP rescue crews arrived on scene and picked up three people from the attached barge. Station Fort Lauderdale’s crew rescued the Sea Eagle’s captain, who stayed behind with the tug. Sea Eagle’s crew was reunited on Station Fort Lauderdale’s vessel and were brought shore. There were no reported injuries.
The tug is reported to have approximately 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board.
The tug and barge are chartered by the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command and were on a scheduled routine supply mission to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center in the Bahamas, carrying a cargo of ordnance, fuel and other supplies. The vessels are operated by NOSAT, Northcliffe Ocean Shipping & Trading, which is currently working with a salvage company to safely remove them and tow them to a nearby port.
The Coast Guard said there is no danger to people living nearby the stranded barge and the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit will safely clear the barge of any potential munitions or ordnance on board.
The Coast Guard has published video of the tug and barge below:
A 1,000 foot safety zone is in place around the site for public safety. Mariners and beachgoers are urged to avoid
Sector Miami’s Incident Management Division personnel are working with the responsible party who hired a salvage company to remove the product from the vessel and the barge from Boca Raton.
Sector Miami established a 1,000-yard waterway security zone and a 1,000-foot security zone around the site. Shoreside beach access and physical security is being maintained by Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, and Broward County Sheriff’s office.
The cause of the grounding is under investigation.
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