The Sea Eagle tug aground on Deerfield Beach, Florida. Photo: USCGSoutheast via Twitter

U.S. Navy-Chartered Tug and Barge Refloated in Florida

Mike Schuler
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February 7, 2022

The U.S. Coast Guard, working with state and local partners, has completed salvage efforts for the grounded Military Sealift Command-chartered tugboat Sea Eagle and a barge after they grounded off of Hillsboro Beach, Florida, last week.

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. Rescue crews arrived on scene and picked up three people from the attached barge, while Sea Eagle’s captain, who stayed behind with the tug, was rescued separately. No injuries were reported.

Sector Miami’s Incident Management Division personnel worked with the responsible party and a commercial salvage company to refloat the tugboat and barge, and oversaw the removal of 9,500 gallons of diesel fuel from Sea Eagle.

The tugboat and barge are at Port Everglades for inspection and repairs. The Coast Guard reported that the barge was refloated at 10:30 a.m., Saturday.

“With the help of the responsible party, federal and local partners, we were able to safely and expeditiously remove the hazards from the beach,” said Cmdr. Eric Paré, the incident commander for the response. “It was inspiring to be part of such a unified response.”

The Sea Eagle and barge were chartered by the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command and reportedly carrying a cargo of ordnance, fuel and other supplies to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center Naval Base in the Bahamas from Port Everglades, Florida.

The tug and barge are owned and operated by Northcliffe Ocean Shipping & Trading.

The cause of the grounding remains under Coast Guard investigation.

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